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?