An article published in The Age a few months ago asked this very question and you may agree! Exposed walls, concrete floors, hard furnishing and thumping music make the modern restaurant a noisy place. These hard surfaces reverberate noise, such as plates, cutlery, conversations and kitchen noise, making conversation difficult even for those with normal hearing and worsening the experience of communal dining.
The trend toward minimalist fit-outs began in the 1990’s and is partly for economic reasons; modifying interiors for acoustic reasons can be expensive. The Age listed some quieter restaurants in Melbourne, for more ideas take a look at this article.
When you are eating out, especially if wearing a hearing aid, ask for a table at the edges of the restaurant (not in the centre of the room) and away from the kitchen. Position yourself with your back to the noise and ensure your companions have their faces well-lit so that you can use visual cues. And don’t be afraid to ask for the music to go down a notch!
You might also be very pleased to know that there is hearing technology available to support you in such challenging situations such as restaurants and cafes, but also other group situations such as work meetings. Take a moment and have a look at this video
Where ever you are in your hearing journey, whether you already have hearing aids or have never had a hearing test, independent Audiologists at Victorian Hearing are here to help you every step of the way. If you need some support call 03 9558 8842 or make an appointment online