Noisy Restaurants Are 21st Century Torture Chambers

dinnerI'm not even that old and I'm sensitive to loud restaurants. In fact, I'm supposedly pretty hip (well la di da) and still I cannot stand a place that has loud music. There's no more odious phrase than "what? what? huh?" heard over and over again, and when I'm trying to tell my dinner companion about how utterly insane Teresa Giudice has become, I don't want to have to repeat myself three times just to be heard over the din of some alt-pop song, clanking plates, and everyone else's raised voices. Make it stop already. I said MAKE IT STOP ALREADY!


Chefs are getting just as pissed about the loudness as I am, and there have been a few recent exposes about the decibel levels in some big city restaurants. One brave reporter actually took one of those fancy loudness measurers into eateries and found that some places have a dangerous level of noise.

Did you want a side of deafness with your bacon-wrapped scallops? Yeah, me neither.

I've become so sensitive to the racket that I'll peep my head in a place first, not to read the menu or check out the vibe, but to assess the noise. If I'm gonna leave a restaurant hoarse, I want it to be because I slurped down some lobster bisque too fast and burnt the shit out of my throat, not because I was yelling all night just to be heard.

Oh! And ordering in loud restaurants? Don't get me started. You're already uncomfortable having a server (just me?), so having to yell at them just adds extra embarrassment to the humiliation.

What did you want? I said could I have three pieces of cheese on my burger? What? I can haz extra cheese? Say again? More cheese, please on my burger! OK, one more time for me. I SAID I WANT A LOT OF CHEESE ON TOP OF MY MEAT SANDWICH BITCH. 

It's not a pretty scene. 

I see no reason why restaurants can't tone it down just a bit. It'll make everyone so much happier, and technically healthier, too, what with all the ear and throat damage the noise is causing.

Let's everyone just put their fingers on the knob and dial it back, restaurant owners -- no one wants to hear M. Ward that loud, anyway.

Does loudness at a restaurant bother you, too?


Photo via grt/Flickr

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