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How many of you enjoy the noisy restaurants?

I don't eat out often, and when I do, I want to enjoy the experience. I have yet to eat at a restaurant where the food is better than what I can (and often do) prepare, so I'm not paying the high dollar tag for the food. I am paying the high price for the pampering effect of not having to prepare the food, clean up before and after, or to serve my guests.  I am paying the high price so I can concentrate on my company.

Noise that comes from many conversations being held at the surrounding tables doesn't bother Itzl or me, nor my companions.  But when those conversations are louder and louder because of the ambient sound qualities that make shouting necessary, that becomes a problem.

As a hearing impaired (but not deaf) person, noisy restaurants present an additional hazard - it stresses out my hearing assistance dog.

Restaurants that choose to seat me and Itzl right by the kitchens lose my custom right then and there. I will (and have) left a restaurant because they seated us as far away from all the other customers as possible and as close to the kitchen, where the timers, buzzers, beeps, clangs, and other kitchen noise has Itzl standing on constant alert. The doors slamming open every few seconds causes him to alert.  And I spend the entire meal giving him the stand down command and reassuring him that the sounds are nothing to alert on.

I don't mind being placed in an empty room or some distant corner if the waitstaff remembers we are there and it's relatively quiet. In those instances, where the waitstaff remembers us, we often have a pleasant dining experience and leave large tips.

Even if we are seated in a decent location inside the restaurant, if it's noisy in there because of bare duct-work in the ceiling, the "trendy" high volume levels of an "exciting" restaurant, with the muzak cranked to 11, the cash registers warped to maximum sound, hardwood or tile floors that echo and increase the sound, and everyone having to shout to be heard, Itzl still gets jumpy and tries his best to alert on all the many sounds in there.

If my companions are shouting because they can't hear themselves, they place their voices out of my hearing range, so I rarely understand what they are saying.  When they shout, their lips distort enough I can't even rely on lip-reading (which is chancy under the best circumstances). The volume range in such restaurants can, and often does, reach into the ranges where I can hear, and it further impairs my hearing.

I don't know how you fully hearing people can stand it.

And the poor waitstaff.  That's such a cruel environment to force them to work in, one that will damage their hearing.

There's no need for it.

I know, some restaurants use the volume controls in the restaurant to move the customers out faster, so they have a larger turnover.  More people in and out, more meals sold, more money earned.

There are kinder ways to get the higher turnover.  An attentive waitstaff works best.  If they clear the table and bring the bill, that's a clear indication to leave and many people understand that. Uncomfortable chairs are another way restaurants once used to move customers through faster. I would take the uncomfortable chairs over the restaurants deliberately designed to be ultra-noisy.

I don't eat at restaurants with bare ducting exposed, with hard walls and hard floors and hard furniture designed to increase the volume levels inside the restaurant. I don't eat in restaurants with TVs mounted in every visible corner - they add to the din.

If Itzl winces when the door opens, I let it close and go elsewhere.

We aren't out for a trendy meal.  We don't care if we're "seen".  We just want a nice meal where we can sit and enjoy our friends.

How do you feel about restaurants designed to be extra-noisy?

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Comment Preferences

  •  i work for such a place (14+ / 0-)

    thankfully, of late, i've mostly been relegated to the business office, but still do have the occasional shift on the restaurant floor.

    the din is absolutely ear-splitting. it would not surprise me one whit were some among the wait staff (specially those with several years of service) will eventually encounter some at-least-mild hearing loss as a result of their tenure here.

    "everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey." -john lennon

    by homo neurotic on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:05:47 PM PST

  •  i hate noisy restaurants and avoid them (10+ / 0-)

    whenever possible.  

    "The Republican party primarily exists to represent the interests of business elites in the political sphere and redistribute power and resources to the wealthy. Its enduring values beyond that end have always been up for grabs." Gary Younge

    by politik on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:22:20 PM PST

  •  I can't stand them either (10+ / 0-)

    Lots of background noise makes it difficult for me to hear - if I'm in the kitchen with the dishwasher or sink running, and my husband speaks to me from the other room, I can tell that he spoke, but not what the words were, so I have to move into the room he's in and away from the noise in order to hear what he said.

    We don't eat out often, but when we do we try to go at off-peak times (later in the evening, during the week) and we avoid restaurants that are noisier.

    The Girl Who Loved Stories
    I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

    by Avilyn on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:26:15 PM PST

  •  One of my deciding (7+ / 0-)

    factors as well. Thanks for addressing this.

  •  And, it can't be good for (6+ / 0-)

    the metabolism.

  •  we don't eat out often enough for noise levels (5+ / 0-)

    to be a factor. like, once every 2-3 years!

    what we mostly do when we're too tired, mentally or physically, to cook, is to go out and collect everybody's desired fast-food and take it home to eat! we use brands where we know what we're going to be getting and can "plain"-down our orders sufficiently to deal with food sensitivities and pickiness (which I am firmly convinced a lot of the pickiness is instinctively-self-diagnosed food sensitivity). For example, "plain hamburger" means no cheese OR ANY OTHER substances, just the meat & bread.

    Basics these days are KFC chicken, biscuit & potato wedge; and DQ hamburgers & fries. The one "wide-area" eater, me, may get a Wendy's baked potato or salad; maybe a McD salad; maybe a small pizza; maybe something from local Taco Time chain. the haul gets distributed among the 3 of us and we all get what we want. (It's also the menu we look for when traveling.)

    VERY, VERY, VERY occasionally we will get fish and chips at a local seafood place (birthday, anniversary), but we don't even do the hotel-holiday-brunch thing anymore... too expensive & quality and ingredients are too iffy. We got shut out of our favorite steak house years ago when they went "Aussie" and started dumping some garlic and lime concoction over EVERYTHING. Garlic has been stuck into lots of things we once went out for. IHOP pancake house shut us out when they started using those weird "cheesy" hamburger buns, and tweaked several other of "our" items toward more industrial versions (fake, chemical ingredients, eh?).

    I sometimes get Indian or vegetarian take-out for special occasions, but I'm the only one with effectively no food issues, although something does seem to be developing around white (even home-made) bread, sigh.

    Our desire to eat out at all is also highly tempered by our understanding of what is actually IN commercial food (pink slime, antifreeze (propilyne glycol), etc., etc.). The more we learn about that, the more happy we are to cook from scratch, at home.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 01:17:01 PM PST

    •  Sometimes, I don't have a choice (4+ / 0-)

      in eating out - when I travel and am staying in a hotel, for instance.  Most of the ones I stay in don't provide a refrigerator and an ice chest isn't always an option. When I have a choice, I stick with mostly ethnic mom-and-pops as they are less likely to have fake food - but they are also far more likely to cause problems over Itzl.

      When I'm eating out with a group of people on those trips, I don't always get a choice in where we eat.

      At home, when I do get a choice, I try to pick places that are quiet and that understand service dogs.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:16:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Noisy restaurants? I avoid them because it's (5+ / 0-)

    too much of an assault on my senses and doesn't make for an overall enjoyable experience.

    I'm just sorry that people sometimes treat you and Itzl so poorly and stick you all the way in the back.  Having hostessed (sp?) when I first moved to NYCity I was taught to seat perceived undesireables closest to the kitchen.  That included families w/children, the elderly, and people with disabilities (w/seeing eye dogs, people with canes, or wheelchairs...)  That made me sick, what a horrible way to treat fellow human beings and animals.  Fortunately I got "promoted" to waiter which was better because I loved talking to anyone in my station.  Things have softened up a bit over time which I'm so glad to see.


    "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

    by Dumas EagerSeton on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 01:51:58 PM PST

    •  Huh. I'd never (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, ladybug53, winglion

      considered us as "undesirables" before.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, I don't either as my music producer was (0+ / 0-)

        blind, needed an escort everywhere we went and I never even though twice about it.  He was an amazing human being and tremendously gifted in so many ways.  My grandmother was in a wheelchair the last few years of her life and we/I wheeled her around wherever she needed and folks were nice.  That wasn't NYCity however.

        I figured out years later that because the restaurant was near the former Waldorf-Astoria and Hotel Intercontinental that they thought quite highly - too highly if you ask me - of themselves.  Now that I think of it, Four Seasons AND LeCirque were nearby along with The Brasserie.  Frankly I thought that the manager of the day shift was an  ndesireable himself because he was so nasty.

        Eventually I switched to the night shift as a waiter and got a different manager.  Fun guy and he never labeled or belittled people.


        "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

        by Dumas EagerSeton on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:29:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  an assault on the senses... (4+ / 0-)

      ...Yes, that is what it is.  I have turned around and walked out more than once.

      •  Yep. My hearing has always been a bit sharper (0+ / 0-)

        than most and I can't stand loud music.  Screaming at my dinner companions and/or friends isn't my idea of a great night out.


        "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

        by Dumas EagerSeton on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:35:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You've Struck a Nerve With Me! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, ladybug53

    Things I hate:

    1) Insipid ceiling music. I didn't come to hear Mantovani's latest pap.

    2) Noisy wait staff. I didn't come to hear about the waitresses date last night as told to her fellow workers.

    3) Cell phone conversations of neighboring tables. Why can't they go outside to take a call...with the smokers.

    4) Out-of-control children. If they haven't been properly raised, leave them at home.

    5) Flushing toilets from the rest rooms. Why can't they soundproof!

    6) "Want fries with that"? (I hate fries!).

    I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member--Groucho Marx.

    by DaveS002 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:01:47 PM PST

  •  I have some hearing issues, after working (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, ladybug53

    with very loud equipment in the military. It's a weird thing. I have always had sensitive ears, but there are certain frequencies that just sort of run all together, and it's like a river of sound that consumers the range of the human voice. So I can hear all that's around me, but nothing of what people are saying. It's very distracting and frustrating.

    I go if that's where everyone else wants to go, but I don't usually seek out places like that to be for the reasons you describe to some degree.

    If the music is loud, it better be live.

    I also don't care for bars because the music is so loud that you can't make out the music at all. It's distorted by the acoustics in the building, and is often on crappy sound systems to boot.

    Sometimes I think that people are trying to distract themselves from reality or thought by sound. Obviously it's not about enjoying the music if it's that distorted, it's not about good conversation because you are right, everyone is yelling or straining to hear.

    We have a couple of favorite places, but barring that we get take out and find a place of our own if not just return home.

    BBQ is good for take home dinners.

  •  One exception: I have been to Greek Restaraunts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, ladybug53, Shippo1776, winglion

    in the distant past that were super noisy, with everyone drinking and dancing and eating and laughing.

    I loved that.

    The food was extra tasty too.

    •  If it's the customers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, ladybug53, winglion

      who are noisy and having fun, that's different from the deliberately inflicted artificially loud noise to make the place seem as if it were "happening".  When the restaurant deliberately has poor acoustics, cranks up the sound of of the cash registers and music, reduces or eliminates the sound-proofing between the kitchens and the dining room, and the waitstaff and customers have to shout just to be barely and inadequately heard, it's a problem.

      I love a happy, boisterous party, where everyone's having fun.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:17:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've walked out of restraunts for the same reason. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winglion, Noddy

    I'd rather have fast food at home than a steak dinner at an excessively loud restaurant.

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