Noise reduction in restaurants is key to attracting seniors.

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.

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

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.

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

There’s a Better Way Than Noisy Restaurants

Good news!

There are simple, practical steps people who are hard of hearing and their dining companions can take.

We created a 3-part user-friendly guide.

  1. A Better Restaurant Experience for Seniors with Hearing Loss
    • Tips for Restaurants
  2. A Better Restaurant Experience for Seniors with Hearing Loss
    • Tips for Dining Companions
  3. A Better Restaurant Experience for Seniors with Hearing Loss
    • Tips for Seniors

It’s full of free or low-cost ways to attract and retain hard-of-hearing customers.  Coming Soon!

One of the most helpful things restaurants can do, to dampen the noise from chairs scraping against the floor, is to install chair feet.

The next most helpful thing is to put acoustic tile on the walls.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.