At EIAS 2023 a poster session was presented and lots of great studies were shared. Studies from Education, Healthcare and Office segments were covered at the same time as studies about sound environments in restaurants and bars. A poster including a survey from France revealed that restaurant owners risk lower income because of noise.
The study was conducted in France and generally reveals the importance of acoustic comfort and a need for well-being, to which many Ecophon solutions can provide an effective response.
UNESCO’s Week of Sound
To mark UNESCO’s Week of Sound, Saint-Gobain Ecophon France organized a major survey in France to measure the auditory perception of noise in bars & restaurants. The aim was to take stock of customer expectations in these areas of social connection, which have grown in popularity, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic.
This survey of 1,300 people aged between 18 and 65 years old shows that the acoustic environment can put people off visiting these places. 81% of French people say they avoid places that are too noisy. 75% of them want to visit restaurants to enjoy their meal and the company in peace. 68% expect nothing less of cafés even though they are very busy. Even bars, known for being places to celebrate, are affected, with 63% of those surveyed wanting to be able to chat without being drowned out as a result of poor noise insulation.
And the winners of the most irritating noises? Coming in at number 1, with 60%, other people talking on nearby tables. Then, in 2nd and 3rd place respectively, road traffic at 33%, not surprising given the many terraces that have popped up all over the place since Covid, and noise from toilets with hand driers and slamming doors at 30%.
Contrary to what one might think, seniors aren’t the only ones sensitive to noise. Indeed, 80% of 18-to-24-year-olds stay away from places where the decibels are too high. They are just as uncompromising as their elders and say they are likely to leave somewhere that is too noisy after they have sat down (40%) or even after they have ordered (21%).
73% of those questioned say they have already suffered a negative consequence of noise, such as headaches (49%), tiredness (35%) and lack of vitality (11%). Professionals are on the front line, facing the problem on a daily basis. Since they are more exposed, physical ailments are more serious, leading to additional fatigue (86%), hearing loss with a risk of deafness (63%), stress and, in the long run, depression (60%).
These results were presented during the UNESCO’s week of sound by Sylvain Coudret. Many media were also interested by this survey (Television : BFMTV, M6, France 3 – Radio : France Inter, France Culture – Press : La croix, 20 minutes).
NB. At the conference the architect and acoustician, Marcos Holtz, held a presentation on restaurant noise in Brazil. Read more about it here.