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10 Tips for avoiding noisy restaurants

Noisy restaurants and cafes are an increasing source of frustration for Australian diners. Especially for those who are hard of hearing, noisy venues are problematic. Loud background noise can turn a night out into a nightmare for people with hearing loss.

Here are ten tips to make sure you don’t end up in an unbearably noisy social environment.

  1. Before you make a reservation at a restaurant, check online reviews at sites such as eatability.com.au, yelp.com.au or goodfood.com.au. If any reviews mention the words ‘noisy’, ‘lively’, ‘loud’ or ‘bustling’, it might be worth booking elsewhere.
  2. Go to the restaurant’s website and look at the photos. If the decor is minimalist – bare walls and floors, polished concrete and lots of glass – the restaurant is highly likely to be noisy. You should avoid if you like talking to the rest of your table.
  3. If you can’t find reviews or pictures online, simply call the restaurant and ask about their noise levels. Explain that background noise is a problem for you and they should give you an honest answer.
  4. When you are being seated in a cafe or restaurant, ask to not sit anywhere near speakers, open kitchens or coffee grinders.
  5. If the restaurant has an outside area that’s not on the street, ask to be seated there.
  6. Avoid dark restaurants. Even those with perfect hearing read lips and facial expressions to a certain extent.
  7. When choosing a restaurant, consider old-fashioned establishments with carpet, drapes and tablecloths. Such soft furnishings absorb sound and create a peaceful, intimate atmosphere.
  8. If there is a noise issue, do not hesitate to let the manager know. This may prompt them to turn down the music, or at least benefit other patrons in future.
  9. Try to pick cafes or restaurant that don’t feature a bar section where people tend to talk loudly.
  10. Last but not least, simply ask for a quiet table! There’s bound to be at least one.

Do you know of any quiet restaurants in your local area? Make your recommendations in the comments below!

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