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Loud music in restaurants

Do you find that loud music and noise in restaurants affects your dining experience? We think so – we don’t know many people who enjoy losing their voice after dining out!

A recent study found that people over the age of 50 tend to leave quickly when in a restaurant or store with loud music, while younger patrons linger longer. 

Why do restaurants feel the need to crank the tunes and damage our eardrums? George Prochnik, author of In Pursuit of Silence, found that loud restaurants draw people in – “People don’t want a space that’s really dead quiet…noise makes a place feel like it’s got a buzz“.

Another reason? Louder music makes us chew faster. A study in the mid-80s found that people increased their rate of chewing from 3.83 bites a minute to 4.4 bites a minute when listening to louder, faster music. Fast-food restaurants have taken advantage of this information, raising the volume and tempo of music when wanting a high turn-over rate.

If you’d like to peacefully combat noise pollution in restaurants with us, we invite you to join the Anti-Noise Pollution League. Share your quiet restaurant recommendations and comments with us (you can also call us at 416-367-9636 to leave a message). 

ANPL restaurant recommendations will be heard on Dinner Classics with Arlene Meadows, Saturdays from 7PM to 11PM on the New Classical 96.3FM.

Here’s how a few Zoomers.ca members feel about loud music in restaurants:

I was at a dinner recently with many “like-aged” patrons, and I found I had to nearly yell to speak to the person next to me. Funny thing was, there was one ballad singer and his guitar. But what put it over the top was the fact that everything was amplified over loudspeakers. It didn’t add, but rather detracted, from the experience. N. Jeanne Collins

I depart right away; can not tolerate it…I had a lovely lunch out yesterday…nice and peacefulSedona Blake

I find that the sports bars are the worst for loud music. But, I noticed that it doesn’t seem to bother the younger crowd…hmmm, what does that say about me? hahaha. The thing is…I really enjoy the atmosphere, in that type of restaurant.MamaCarol

Quite right, I usually leave once I’ve gotten 10 feet inside the door. They are welcome to make their establishments appealing to their market niche, but if they play loud music or fill the air full of industrial strength aromatherapy then I will choose not to be included in their market niche. When the noise or stench impinge into the mall space then I will complain to the mall management.Steve

More and more places have loud music. I have asked for them to turn it down. Some do and some just ignore you. There is enough noise with the patrons, they really don’t need any music or on the low side. I avoid these loud establishments if possible.Bob McDonald

And it’s not just Zoomers that have beef with noise pollution in restaurants:

Agree with everyone above? Send us your comments and restaurant recommendations.

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