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Noise in a restaurant reduces customers' willingness to spend money

Noise in a restaurant reduces customers' willingness to spend money

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America published an interesting study. The aim of this study was to determine how the customer perceives noise in a restaurant and what effect noise has on the willingness to spend money on a meal in a restaurant. The results will surprise you.

In a noisy environment, speakers unconsciously try to maintain a speech level that allows them to understand the conversation (Lombard effect). Many studies have looked at the Lombard effect under different conditions. The factors of the relationship between noise level and voice level are different. These factors vary depending on boundary conditions such as speech situation (reading vs. conversation), noise type (machine noise, office noise, restaurant noise, speech noise, broadband noise, white noise, pink noise), speech style ( normal or shouting), the distance between the speaker and the listener and the acoustics of the room.

The speech level rises with a slope of 0.3–0.6 dB for a 1 dB increase in noise level for all disturbing noise exceeding 40–50 dB. However, up to a noise level of 30-40 dB, the noise level has a minimal effect on the speech level.

Twenty-eight participants were instructed to read a passage in the presence of restaurant noise ranging from 35 to 85 dB. As the noise level increased, the participants became disturbed by the noise at 52 dB and began to raise their voice at 57 dB. Willingness to spend time and money decreased from 52 dB.

Arguably, voice level (effort) and distraction increase as background noise increases, while willingness to spend time and money in a restaurant decreases as background noise increases.

25% of restaurant customers consider noise to be the most irritating component of outdoor dining. Restaurants are not only places to eat, they also serve as business and social centers. Typical noise levels in restaurants range from 60 to 80 dBA. Many restaurants exceed these levels. If you own a restaurant, consider professional soundproofing.

In conclusion, it can be said that to improve the acoustic environment of restaurants, the background noise level should be lower than 50-55 dB. This minimizes the vocal effort of visitors and interference in their communication. At the same time, this will increase the profit for the restaurant, as patrons would be willing to spend more time and money to eat in a restaurant with background noise below 50-55 dB.



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