I read an interesting article in the Atlantic about how restaurants got loud and this is an additional perspective over it.
Atlantic Article tl;dr
Restaurants are loud because architects do not want it to be quiet. Fashionable minimalism leads to lower maintenance and higher revenue.
Restaurants have come a long, long way in its current form. Architects do not want it to be quiet because people do not want it to be quiet.
Why Would One Go to Loud Restaurants?
1. Visuals Trump Function
Like it or not, Instagram is a big part of the eating process, today, and an establishments easiest source of word of mouth. Between a great conversation and a beautiful table — what do you think is Instagrammable?
2. Social media Connectedness
With Social media proliferation, two things have happened:
- You know (not meet) new people
- You know everything about people you know
It overrides the need to meet new people, in real and with known entities you are unlikely to have a long conversation. Might as well make it loud, so that it’s easy on you.
A loud place is a happening place. It is perceivably more fun and even if it is not, there is alcohol to get to ceteris paribus. And let’s just say, restaurants love people who drink than the teetotaller.
Perception is reality. One does not want to end up at a dressy restaurant, too often, where you feel mummified. Alcohol and noise result in heightened stimulation and an elevated experience.
Arguably, more hours are spent in the office today than at one’s home. Physically and mentally. Loud spaces where you can ‘lose yourself’ create the perfect outlet for a mental release. There is a sense of cohesion without thinking too much. Also, the reason why electronic music is popular.
As the article points out, restaurants and bars are merging. It does add noise but it makes sense economically not only from an establishment point of view but also for the time strung consumer who aspires to do more with less time.
But I am not like that.
I love a good conversation and am done with loud spaces, you say? I know. This is empathy crash-course to feeling like the lone vegetarian in an omnivore clan or the teetotaller in the alcoholic non-anonymous group. Hello, peer pressure. What people want, businesses need to give.
Personally, I hate loud spaces.
I would rather go to a place where I do not need to spend 90 minutes of my life in pregnant expectation of the order to come. I would rather have my hands on a cold beer and be able to listen and talk, rather than play dumb charades.Tags: Design Psychology Restaurants