Acoustics in the Hospitality Industry: A Subjective and Objective Analysis

L.H. Christie , J.R.H. Bell-Booth

New Zealand Acoustics, 18(4), pp.7- 17 . (2005).

Are bar, cafe and restaurant environments acoustically acceptable from an occupants point_of_view? Can we actually predict how satisfactory such an occupant will perceive the acoustic conditions to their communication needs? The present study attempted to address these questions by comparing physical objective measures, with subjective ratings gathered in the field. Findings from this study were both exciting and inconclusive simultaneously. A lack of significance between subjective factors themselves and a strong difference between how people rated each of the studied establishments disproved the concept that an index could be created for use in future predictions. The results highlighted the lack of relationship between objective measures and their ability to predict a subjectively acceptable acoustic environment. Overall it was concluded that occupants generally find the current acoustic conditions acceptable in bars, cafes and restaurants, and that perhaps it is not these environments that need improvement, but that the current standards need to be re_evaluated.