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RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK
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Customers turn to takeaways to avoid restaurants background noise

Noise levels in some of the popular restaurants are reaching 90 decibels on busy nights.

According to new figures released by The National Charity Action on Hearing Loss, diners are increasingly turning to takeaways, as the level of noise in other popular restaurants can equate to eating next to a motorcycle or lawnmower.

In the survey of 1,200 people, it revealed that over 43% of potential diners have opted to get a takeaway instead of going out for a meal. 91% stated that they wouldn’t return to a noisy place.

Action on Hearing Loss’ chief executive Paul Breckell said, “These results demonstrate the business case for restaurants putting some real consideration into their acoustics. There are over 11 million people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss and they are beginning to spend money elsewhere. Everyone loves going out for a meal but with an increasing variety of takeaway options and the intrusive background noise levels exacerbated by fashionable hard surfaces, it’s no wonder customers are opting to stay in. It’s entirely reasonable for customers to expect to hear companions sat opposite them.”

He added, “We have contacted the top names in the industry offering our advice on the ways of getting noise levels down, but despite overwhelming evidence that noisy venues are increasingly becoming a customer turn-off there still seems to be a lack of interest, so I would urge customers to make themselves heard. Join our #DecibelSquad to leave online reviews of your dining experience so that owners and chains can start to take heed of the need to take noise off the menu.”

An earlier report by the charity also found that 79% of people surveyed had left a restaurant early. The charity has also produced a guide for restaurants which outlines cost effective ways to be more accessible to customers with hearing loss, from reducing the volume of background music, using soft furnishings that better absorb sound to investing in acoustic treatments.

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