What is it about?

How noisy are restaurants? We compared the measured noise levels in different countries and found that there are no significant differences between them. We also presented a restaurant noise model and validated the model based on the measured noise in restaurants.

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Why is it important?

Noise in restaurants affects diners and service employees. Normally, people will not eat alone. They would rather enjoy good food and drink with business partners, friends, and family in restaurants and unavoidably they talk happily and loudly. Speeches from other restaurant patrons, service employees, mingling with background music and noise from ventilation systems, will interfere with communication between a talker and listeners. This paper reports a noise survey in Hong Kong and provides advice to acoustics consultants and interior designers to mitigate indoor noise.


Sound is an important component of the social environment. But high levels of background noise can interfere with speech and adversely affect the psychological and physiological responses of diners, including their feelings toward food and drink. Hence, this paper tries to shed light on the cause of high noise levels in restaurants.

Professor W.M. To
Macao Polytechnic University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Restaurant Noise: Levels and Temporal Characteristics, Noise & Vibration Worldwide, September 2015, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1260/0957-4565.46.8.11.
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