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By Robert Ancill on May 04, 2017

Its always a guest choice on priority regarding “what to order”.


in Do You Have to Order What Your Host Suggests?

By Joanne Blake on Apr 21, 2017

Thank you for your comment Brenda. I’m assuming you’re referring to...

in Is Your Restaurant Too Noisy For Business?

By brenda Kurtz lenko on Apr 20, 2017

I would be interested to know what you think about dress and image...

in Is Your Restaurant Too Noisy For Business?

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posted May 08, 2013 in Etiquette & Manners / Dining / by Joanne Blake / 6 comments

Is Your Restaurant Too Noisy For Business?

How Can You Network if the Music is too loud?

Eat, drink and be… stressed

Have you ever sat in a restaurant where the thumping bass has made it so you can’t carry on a conversation? Or you have to shout or worse - carry on your conversation via text?

Music too loud in noisy restaurants for conversation and business lunch

Me: Do you mind turning the music down?
Server: Hunh?

Me: Do you mind turning it down!
Server: Hunh?

Me: Do you mind turning it down!!
Server: Hunh, I can't hear you.
Me: Exactly

Read my lips

We've been hearing from lots of readers complaining about how noisy restaurants have become. The too loud music forces people to shout which makes it even more noisy.

5 stars for food... 0 stars for volume

In our networking and dining etiquette seminars, we now have added a new tip and criteria for choosing a good restaurant for business dining; the noise level.

Are we just too old school?

Is it just because we’re getting older?  No, volume of music is on the rise in restaurants. Faster paced music is believed to make you eat faster and consume more alcohol.

The customer may not be part of the equation

Music level and type is often chosen for the staff’s comfort and not necessarily, with you, the patron in mind.

Keeping it down

A recent Canadian Sunday Edition radio show did a documentary called Keeping it Down - Loud Music in Restaurants, click here to listen to the ear opening 15 min audio program.

Canadian corporate image consultants offer tips for too loud music in noisy restaurants for business meals cards, VancouverFight Back

They interviewed Hans Schmidt from Vancouver who started the Right to Quiet Society has developed some special business style cards that might be of help. One card reinforces good behavior and the other makes clear your reason for taking your business elsewhere.

Carrot and stick

We believe in voting with our pocket book and avoiding restaurants where we can’t converse. These cards let the owner/manager know why you may or may not come back. Terry and I haven’t used them yet, but we might start. The managers can read your complaint... even if they can’t hear them.

Canadian corporate image consultants offer tips for too loud music in noisy restaurants for business meals cards - VancouverHere is a link to Quiet.org where you can download and print their noise suggestion cards.


Their website also lists quiet places to eat and stay (don’t get us started on noisy hotels). Have you ever left a restaurant because of acoustics. What are your thoughts or tips?

For business/social dining online training

Posted by Joanne Blake - Canadian corporate image consultant and quiet dining aficionado
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About Joanne Blake

Canadian speaker, corporate image consultant & business etiquette expert. If you're interested in booking (Joanne) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me or visit my conference page. Based in the Calgary/Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada.

6 comments below

...add yours

May 08, 2013 at 7:33pm

Tema Frank says:

Not just too loud for business meetings, but for seniors too!

I don’t think I’ve left because of the noise, but I’ve certainly chosen not to go back to some of them because of it! (And to go back to others who understand that music should be in the background, not the foreground, at a meal.)

May 08, 2013 at 7:49pm

Joanne Blake says:

Amen, Tema. The meal and good company should be in the foreground, not the music.

May 09, 2013 at 6:11am

Maria says:

Thank you for bringing up this topic.  I’ve noticed the noise level is getting higher and it is for the comfort of the staff not the patrons.  Occasionally, I’ve had to ask for the music to be turned down.  Clothing stores are doing the same thing now, also.  Is there any escape??

Apr 01, 2017 at 12:16am

William says:

Thank you for sharing such great information. smile The Next Idea

Apr 20, 2017 at 10:26am

brenda Kurtz lenko says:

I would be interested to know what you think about dress and image for wait staff. There have been a few restaurants that I have been to for business lunches and have found that the female wait staffs’ dress made me feel uncomfortable, especially if I was meeting with male clients or colleagues.

Apr 21, 2017 at 10:52am

Joanne Blake says:

Thank you for your comment Brenda. I’m assuming you’re referring to wait staff wearing overly revealing clothing. We have discussed this very situation when working with our hospitality clients at our Complete Professional seminar. The role of the wait staff is to be hospitable, effective and reflect the organization’s brand. If their clothing or accessories are distracting and make the customer feel uncomfortable, then they’re not being effective and may drive customers away. On the other hand depending on the restaurant’s brand and the clientele it serves, servers may be encouraged to wear revealing clothing; you know which ones we’re referring to. As a consumer, you get to vote with your dollars.

If you are hosting lunch, given your negative experience with these restaurants, you can choose not to frequent them. If you are a guest, it can be a bit trickier. You may choose to discretely share your concerns with the restaurant management.

You comment brings up another interesting thought about couples on dates. If the server is wearing revealing clothing how does it affect the experience?  Is it an unwelcome distraction or should we even care. Stay tuned for a blog post about this one.

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