Hearing Better in Restaurants

By: Dr. Linda Remensnyder

As you well know, one of the highlights of our lives is visiting with friends and family at a restaurant.  

Over time, all of us have become adept at comparing restaurant food, service and ambience ratings but once we turn fifty, we also need to keep a strong and vigilant eye on restaurant noise levels. If we can’t hear our loved ones, the entire restaurant experience is sacrificed. 

Simple things that can really help:

Read the restaurant’s reviews. If the report relates “Conversationally-Challenged”, choose a different restaurant.

When you call for reservations, tell the maître de that your party needs a quiet table because you have important business to discuss (even if it's your grandchild’s initial preschool experience).

Upon arrival, remind the hostess of your reservation request.

As the hostess seats you, scan the room and make sure your party is not sitting near the kitchen, the entry, the bar, or a music source.

Feel free to tell management to turn the music DOWN.

Request a booth rather than a table.

Choose an inside seat if seated at a booth. If directed to a table, choose a seat with the least noise behind you.

Take care to place those of your party who have soft voices, an accent, fast speech (teenagers), or emerging articulation (toddlers) adjacent to you. Keep in mind that ears over 50 can only stretch so far.

Lastly, do the restaurant a favor when you’re questioned regarding your experience. Comment on those things you found favorable, but caution management that you won’t be back due to the restaurant’s unacceptable noise level.

Economists have confirmed that those over 55 have the highest disposable income and restaurants and other entertainment venues need to accommodate a patron's sense that needs a little tender attention.

Image Source

For more Healthy Living articles, click here

Linda S. Remensnyder - Healthy Living

Linda S. Remensnyder, Au.D., recently retired, founded Hearing Associates, a private practice in Audiology in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago, in 1980.  Dr. Remensnyder received her Au.D. from the University of Florida and was the first Doctor of Audiology in Illinois.  She holds board certification in Audiology from the American Board of Audiology and has served on the Board of Governors for that organization.

In 2013, she was awarded the Lake County Women’s Coalition Honors: Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination and in 2014, she received the Patient Advocacy Award from the Illinois Academy of Audiology.  Over the years, Dr. Remensnyder has published articles on hearing loss and hearing management in a variety of professional and consumer publications.

Linda resides in Lake Forest, IL with her husband, Larry, their rescue schnauzer, Webster, and a new cockapoo puppy, Bentley.