Why are restaurants, bars, and clubs so loud? I often return from a dinner party with a sore throat from having to shout all night just to converse with other people. It wasn't always this way. Julia Belluz, writing for Vox, blames loud restaurants on five things:
- Restaurateurs think loud music gives their restaurants a sense of "vibrancy and energy."
- It costs a lot of money to engineer good acoustics into a restaurant. "Simply sound-paneling a big ceiling can cost upward of $50,000."
- Restaurant design has moved away from soft, sound absorbing interiors, and towards open, concrete boxes. "And as these sound-absorbing elements went out of style, many restaurants introduced open-concept dining, with open kitchens or attached bar scenes, that helped turn up the volume."
- Restaurants are moving into buildings that were designed for other purposes. Churches, designed for one person to be heard by many, are especially ill-suited as restaurants.
- "Americans are loud." Anyone who has spent time in other countries knows this to be true.
Image: By Aaron Amat/Shutterstock