Acoustic Solutions

The problem with
noisy restaurants

Think about all the competing noises you find within a dining setting; patrons in animated conversation, clattering dishes and voices from the kitchen, staff welcoming and seating customers. Combine this with the commonplace exposed ceilings and hard surfaces found in fashionable restaurant settings, and these compounded sounds can quickly amplify as they reflect and reverberate around the space. So what’s the result? Restaurants and getting painfully loud.

According to a report by GoodFood, popular, well-reviewed restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney were disclosed to reach decibels between 85-95. At this level, employers must provide ear protection and conduct hearing tests as per Safe Work regulations.

Restaurant-goers are having to raise and strain their voices to be heard, which only further contributes to the problem. Patrons end up leaving the restaurant feeling exhausted and agitated. A recent survey found that noise is the second most common complaint among restaurant-goers behind poor service, and loudness of a restaurant is now a metric for nationally-known reviews. 

Restaurant-goers are having to raise and strain their voices to be heard, which only further contributes to the problem.

How to treat a noisy restaurant

Treating a noisy restaurant isn’t about creating a silent space. Some background noise can contribute to an attractive, vibrant atmosphere, but it needs to be managed accordingly.

So, what does a comfortable restaurant look and sound like? According to Australasian Acoustic Consultant guidelines, less than 65 decibels represents a pleasantly quiet room. This can be achieved by selecting and installing the right acoustic products, depending on the unique aesthetic and acoustic needs of the space.

As carpet is often not appropriate in hospitality settings for the risk of spilling food and drink, wall and ceilings still provide a breadth of opportunity. Designers can also opt for acoustic products that look like ‘trendy’ hard surfaces—like printed wood panelling, concrete, or wallpaper style graphics for a feature wall effect.

Acoufelt’s interior soundscaping products are designed to absorb sound, reduce reverberation and limit sound transmission in restaurant environments. Not only do Acoufelt offer a full suite of floor, wall, furniture and ceiling products appropriate for restaurants, but we can also assist with acoustic consultations, delivery, installation, furniture removal, as well as a number of other services. We also offer custom designs across each of our product collections.

Acoustic Wall Products

Walls offer a variety of opportunities for acoustic treatment with Acoufelt’s wide collection of products, available in a broad range of sizes, colors, prints, cuts, and designs.

Depending on your acoustic and aesthetic needs, select from our full color panels, printed panels, Timbertop panels, wall shapes and wall tiles. Sheets of full color panels are effective for mid-frequency sounds generated by voice, and should be installed to sit at or above head height.

Designers may also opt for panels from our printed collection to work within a particular theme, and can select from our range of prints, or submit their own custom images for reproduction. For the best acoustic results, install panels on adjacent walls. Multi-colored acoustic shapes and bevelled-cut Fracture tiles can also be installed in tessellating patterns to create a spectacular mosaic finish.

Acoustic Ceiling Products

Depending on the ceiling system available to you, Acoufelt offers a mix of practical, easy-install acoustic ceiling products.

For restaurants with a ceiling grid system, drop-in ceiling tiles are a simple but effective solution; available in both full color and printed options. For areas requiring a targeted approach – such as over a larger table or noisy bar area – ceiling clouds or ceiling baffles can be hung above, offering a large surface area for acoustic absorption. High performing acoustic ceiling panels can also be stuck directly to the ceiling, offering an excellent NRC value of up to 0.85.

View more of our restaurant projects:

Acoufelt’s WoodBeQuiet™ acoustic ceiling planks in color ‘Barn Door’ slotted perfectly into the brief for Kilcoy Foods Kitchen Experience Centre, complementing the rural aesthetic, while also safeguarding the acoustics.

Customized Acoufelt acoustic panels in various shades of green were cut into leaflike designs and installed across the ceiling in the main restaurant at Palm Lake Resort Bargara. On top their high acoustic value, their lightweight construction made them a natural fit for the ceiling space.

Let us help you get started.


Choose another country to see content specific to your location.​

Tell us what you are looking for