Noise Reduction in Restaurants is Key to Attracting Seniors

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Savvy restauranteurs and coffee shop owners know restaurant noise is a problem and ask, “How do I make my restaurant quieter?”

Restaurants are notoriously noisy. Furthermore, many restaurants don’t realize how much business they are losing to hard-of-hearing patrons who, rather than speak up about the noise or ask for accommodations, just stop going out to eat.

Are restaurant noise complaints a problem for your restaurant or café?

Senior friends having fun at a dinner.

The World Health Organization shares that 33% of people over the age of 65 have hearing loss.

Moreover, for people of all ages, sensory overload is a problem.

This easily makes up a good portion of your clientele for an eatery, pub or bar.

Subsequently, seniors are often left wondering, “Where can I find quiet restaurants?”  It is important to know that hearing aids do not solve the problem.  Many people with hearing loss who wear hearing aids are left wondering, “Why are restaurants so loud now?”  Simply put, hearing aids amplify all the sounds.  Customers are worried, “Are noisy restaurants harmful to your health?”.  Be the restaurant that makes the simple and easy changes to allay this fear.

A Better Restaurant Experience for Seniors with Hearing Loss

Many Simply Stop Eating Out.

Research shows that people who are hard of hearing often avoid restaurants, which creates social isolation and a sense of exclusion. And if you’re a restauranteur, the lost revenue can be significant.

At Sensory Friendly Solutions, we conducted a survey in May 2020.

  • More than 60% of respondents said the noise was a factor in choosing where to eat out. More than 40% said it was very important in picking a restaurant.
  • 35% of survey respondents eat out once a week, and more than 40% eat out monthly.
  • More than 45% of respondents spend between $101-$400 a month at restaurants.

“I definitely eat out less often because of my hearing loss. It’s not fun when you can’t participate with your friends.” – Survey respondent.

“If a restaurant is overly noisy, it creates anxiety, stress, and frustration. If I’m not able to enjoy a quiet meal and conversation, I might as well stay home.” – Survey respondent.

“Most of our clients do not advocate for themselves because it becomes exhausting. They simply opt not to go. They think, ‘I don’t need to fight that battle.’” – Heather Chandler, New Brunswick Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

“If there is loud music, kitchen noise or the ceiling is open… it makes it impossible to hear almost anything. I would choose not to eat there again.” – Survey respondent.

Hard of hearing people who eat out report feeling:

  • Isolated
  • Frustrated
  • Irritated
  • Anxious
  • Stressed
  • Annoyed
  • Distracted
  • Exhausted
  • Discouraged
  • Angry
  • Uncomfortable
  • Embarrassed
  • In pain
Group of adults at dinner table drinking wine.

There’s a Better Way Than Noisy Restaurants

Good news! We created a 3-part user-friendly set of tips for seniors, their dining companions and restaurants.

A Better Restaurant Experience for Seniors with Hearing Loss

A Better Restaurant Experience for Seniors with Hearing Loss cover

Are you surprised to learn that a least a third of the population over 65 years of age has hearing loss that is disabling?  Sharing a meal, especially at a restaurant, can be unpleasant and downright avoided by seniors with hearing loss.  Hearing aids do not solve the problem.  However, a few easy changes that seniors can make, their dining companions can make and restaurants can make are key to ensuring seniors enjoy dining and become regulars.

  • Key steps for hard of hearing seniors to take
  • Simple things for dining companions to do differently.
  • Free and low cost changes for restaurants

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