Last year Luke from Action on Hearing Loss asked if you’re fed up with noisy cafés, pubs and restaurants. Your response was overwhelming, so Luke is here again to tell us about their new campaign…
You may well remember that last October, we started a conversation about noisy restaurants, cafés and pubs. Hundreds of you shared your thoughts and many more contributed to Action on Hearing Loss’ survey, designed to get to the heart of the problem.
That conversation has now become a movement, as this week we at Action on Hearing Loss have launched the Speak Easy campaign, calling on the hospitality industry to take noise off the menu.
The message was clear: background noise is by far the biggest problem you face when eating out. Many of you shared your frustrations with venues determined to play music at high volumes, even when 92% of those who participated in our survey said they’d like to see it turned down.
But it’s also been made clear that environmental noise – whether it’s the scraping of chairs across the floor or the scream and rattle of a coffee machine – has a huge impact on the ability to hold a conversation.
Many people noted that a change in interior design trends, with most venues getting rid of tablecloths, carpets, curtains and other sound absorbing furnishings, has also contributed to the problem. No wonder then that 77% of said that restaurants, cafés and pubs have become noisier in the last five years.
Next steps for the campaign
Action on Hearing Loss has presented all of the key findings from last year’s survey in the new Speak Easy report, which makes the case to the hospitality industry that they risk losing millions of customers fed up with noisy venues.
We’ve also published the Speak Easy guide, which presents eight ways venues can create a more welcoming environment. These solutions range from simply turning background music down or off, through to installing specialised acoustic panels to absorb excess noise and make it easier for customers to hold a conversation.
We’ll be writing to the biggest players in the UK hospitality sector, sharing our report and guide with them and asking them to work with us to improve their acoustic environment.
You’ve already played a huge part in shaping the Speak Easy campaign, and we’d love for you to take a leading role now Speak Easy is underway.
This is a guest contribution by Luke Dixon of Action on Hearing Loss. All opinions are Luke’s own, not necessarily those of Which?