Lautstärke im Gastgewerbe: 3 Tipps für eine angenehme Geräuschkulisse

Volume in the hospitality industry: 3 tips for a pleasant background noise

Reading time: 9 minutes

Glasses clinking, exciting conversations at the next table, a ringing mobile phone or someone singing a birthday song. The volume in restaurants and bars increases in the course of the evening and is sometimes perceived as annoying not only by residents but also by guests. Of course, everyone wants a lot of guests, but that often means a lot of noise. It always depends on the ambience: Am I sitting in a romantic restaurant with violin players or am I preparing for my karaoke performance in the Spanish tapas bar?

We'll show you the volume requirements in the hospitality industry and what tips and tricks you can use to keep the noise level low.

When you open your business, you have to show that you have appropriate noise or soundproofing measures in place. Especially if you plan to include live music or even a DJ in your program. You have to keep in mind that not only music but also your guests, the serving of food or even arriving and departing cars cause noise. But don't worry, you can also add some devices afterwards so that you don't violate any guidelines and take your surroundings into consideration.

What are the noise regulations for outdoor use?

As already mentioned, the volume in the outdoor area or beer garden plays a special role. Restaurants must comply with the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) and the Technical guide to protection against noise (TA Noise) to follow.

Quiet at night, which begins at 10 p.m. in most cities, is important for restaurants outside the building. It is best to inquire with your local city council or municipality, as there are also special regulations for some places and regions. In the past there was also the “curfew” for nightlife, which was in the early morning hours (5 a.m. to 7 a.m.). This is now rarely noticed and currently only applies in Bremen and Baden-Württemberg.

There are often exceptions or special guidelines for nightly rest and noise levels during city festivals or international events such as the soccer World Cup. Find out more here on the official website of the city or district. It is also not uncommon for the local hospitality industry to be given advance notice of any changes from the city prior to a unique event.

But be careful: On public holidays there are other regulations that prohibit music and entertainment events at certain times. For example, no public events with music are allowed on Good Friday and during church services.

Our tip: Get on good terms with your neighbors from the outset to avoid noise complaints. Leave a phone number for questions or comments that you can be reached on during opening hours. As a result, they will contact you first and not the police or the public order office directly in the event of possible disruptions.

What are the noise regulations indoors?

Indoors, the volume must not exceed a certain level of decibels (dB). The exact level depends on which state you are in. For example, it is difficult to hold a normal conversation from 45 dB. Above 60 dB you even have to speak in a loud voice so that the other person can understand you.

And this is where a well-known phenomenon comes into play: as soon as some people talk louder, you also raise your voice. After all, you want to understand and be understood by others. This often escalates, so that the parties get louder and louder, which is difficult to stop.

Light jazz music for the starred restaurant or the ABBA hits for the new bar? How loud and which background music you choose within the given framework is up to you and should suit your ambience. If you are unsure, just ask your guests directly how they feel about the music. Too loud? Too quiet? Precisely? Feel free to show that you care about such things and pay attention to even the small details that contribute to the satisfaction of your guests.

Note: Especially in the ongoing Corona crisis, the distance between the guests has to be increased, which means that the voices are fewer and the volume is lower. Do you need tips on Corona gastronomy? Then you can Read here how to restart and offer your guests a safe yet beautiful atmosphere.

3 tips for a pleasant background noise

1. Use noise-reducing elements

In general, one can say: the larger the room and the fewer furnishings, the worse the room acoustics. Ultimately, this means that additional room elements can reduce the risk of noise. At the same time, you can take advantage of the height of the room, as well as use soft materials in general to reduce sound.

These include, for example:

  • partitions
  • Plant
  • curtains
  • Glass sliding doors
  • Flexible partitions
  • Large format images
  • towels
  • Felts under all chairs
  • ceiling sails or ceiling panels
  • Pictures with acoustic foam

With the help of these inspirations, you can keep the volume down in the restaurant or bar and at the same time create a feel-good atmosphere. You can find many of these items at hardware stores, thrift stores, or online. How to shop online sustainably you can find out here .

If you not only want to work on your background noise, but also on the environmental friendliness of your restaurant or hotel, we have it here are some tips for you

2. Delimit individual areas

Waiting guests, ringing phones, door openings and large group laughter all cause the background noise to increase. To avoid this, there are a few simple tricks to keep more calm and a relaxed atmosphere

1. Set up a telephone station where the telephone is not mobile with the staff. It is best to stand or lie in a separate room away from the seating area. In addition, you should also adjust the volume of the sound here so that it can still be heard but does not drown out all other noises. Our tip : Always assign one or two people to answer the phone who are responsible for the evening.

2. A curtain or a pane of glass or plexiglass helps to cover up waiting guests and the rattling of the front door. This is especially true if your hospitality business has a reservation requirement, many guests will come who will have to wait or even leave. Spatial separation allows you to keep these interactions away from your other guests

3. As soon as you have a group of at least 8 people, it's worth separating them a little from the other groups. True to the motto "the more the merrier", the atmosphere and thus the volume increases with larger groups. This happens in particular when groups meet for an occasion such as a birthday or a wedding.

You can equalize this background noise a little with simple room dividers and plants. In addition, it is convenient to seat large groups in the corners of a room to draw less attention to the other guests.

3. Cleverly distance the kitchen area

Things often get hot and fast in the kitchen: the pudding has to be stirred, the mashed potatoes mashed, the salmon fried and the plates arranged. The cooks have to exchange ideas with each other and with the service and make agreements. It gets a little louder there. However, to ensure that your guests are not disturbed by this, you can take a few simple measures:

  • If you are still planning or setting up your hospitality business, it is definitely worth thinking about the placement of the kitchen. At best, you can place them in a delimited area.
  • If you are no longer in the construction phase of your business, a curtain between the kitchen or private area and the restaurant can help to keep both noise and hustle and bustle out of the guests. A swinging door is not recommended as it often leads to accidents such as collisions. A hatch is another option that can also be installed afterwards. As a result, the service staff does not get in the way of the kitchen staff and, thanks to an established system, there is less communication.
  • If you offer live cooking in your restaurant, where guests can follow their food being freshly prepared, Plexiglas walls will come in handy. These not only reduce the noise when cooking, but also protect your guests from splashes.

Our tip: Plastic packaging also makes noise when it is opened, compressed and disposed of. How to make your gastronomy less plastic and at the same time reduce the rustling and crackling, you can find out here.

Clever constructions or regulated processes can make everyday life in the hospitality industry a lot easier. Not only in terms of volume, but also the satisfaction of the employees, you can find many new inspirations for the design of the working atmosphere under the term "New Work". If you want to learn more about “New Work” in the hospitality industry, you can read here .

Preparation is the A&O

With a few tips and tricks you can reduce the volume in your hospitality business and create a cozy atmosphere for your guests. With the right preparation, you can create the right mood right from the start.

Remember to get on well with the neighbors to keep any complaints away. If there should be a complaint, you now have a few ideas ready to reduce the background noise. Be sure to check or ask your local facilities whether there are special regulations in the areas of noise and nighttime rest, so that you are well prepared.

In summary, one can say: Preparation is the most important thing here, in order not to let complaints arise in the first place. So get informed, plan & try it out and don't forget to have fun!

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