As Christmas gets closer, it’s not just the festive cheer that’s on the rise – noise levels are ramped up too. Are you getting fed up with all that din? You’re certainly not alone. Johanna from Action on Hearing Loss joins us as a guest author to explain how to get your voice heard…
Earlier this year a survey carried out by Action on Hearing Loss found that three-quarters of us would go out more if we knew we’d actually get to have that cosy chat with our companions, and 91% of us never go back to a noisy venue.
Done with the din
In response, this summer we launched Speak Easy, a campaign asking restaurants, cafés and pubs to ‘take noise off the menu’.
But despite millions across the UK wanting to dine out in quieter venues, the industry has been slow to acknowledge that there’s a problem or to engage with the campaign.
There appears to be a perception that a loud restaurant is a successful restaurant – and as long as customers put up with the barrage of sound, the industry will continue to believe it’s getting it right.
The buzz is getting out of hand and we want to help you to send a clear message to the industry. So, we’ve put together some useful materials for diners across the UK to use over the festive season, and beyond.
So next time you’re out with your friends and family you can use discreet feedback cards to leave with your bill.
Or if you’re feeling like making more of a statement you can always use an attention-grabbing thumb prop – just like Nutritionist Jeanann (below) has done for a branch of Giraffe restaurants.
Jeanann awarded the restaurant a ‘thumbs down’ after a strained attempt to catch up with a friend:
‘With the coffee machines hissing and chairs scraping the floor, trying to hear my friend was like making sense of a badly tuned radio station. Concrete floors and high ceilings may create a modern look, but unfortunately it only adds more background noise.’
Getting voices heard
Repeat customers are important to restaurants, cafes and pubs, so we’re hoping that if enough of us tell the industry that the noise levels are turning us off, the industry will find it harder to ignore us.
And to make doubly sure that your voice is heard, if you do choose to give restaurants the ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ on social media – then make sure you tag the relevant venue, and put them in the public spotlight.
Have you recently spent the evening fuming and fed up at a Christmas pub lunch? Or have you been pleasantly surprised on a recent night out? Which restaurants get a ‘thumbs down’ from you?
This is a guest contribution by Johanna Taylor from Action on Hearing Loss. All views are Johanna’s own and not necessarily those shared by Which?.