Addressing noise complaints with acoustic panels

There’s so many variables that go into an excellent restaurant. Food quality plays the biggest role, but the building’s location, style, and environment are also pivotal as the restaurant tries to book their weekends with reservations. When improving a building’s environment, controlling the noise can make a significant difference. Benchmark Restaurant recognized this, and they asked for help.

Facing noise complaints

Benchmark is local to Conwed’s Maumee, OH headquarters and is a favorite upscale dining spot for some of our employees. The restaurant’s hard surfaces and modern design increased the amount of noise reflection and made dinner conversations difficult to maintain. Waiters and waitresses were also having troubles simply trying to take customer orders. Noise had become a huge problem at Benchmark. Jarman Davis, a frequent customer and neighboring business owner noted that he is “a huge fan of Benchmark and the entire staff. The quality of the food and the service and the environment from a standpoint of eating is wonderful. One of the major issues has always been sound… The difference in whether an evening at Benchmark was that perfect evening or not was the inability to hear as you enjoyed the food and the service. The ability to have a much better environment acoustically is going to make [lunch and dinner] even better.”

Installing Conwed’s Foundation panels

During Benchmark Restaurant’s acoustical consultation, we recognized that our Foundation acoustical ceiling panels would easily fit in the building’s existing ceiling I-beams. These panels normally come with a white scrim that highlights the panel. Benchmark is designed with darker colors and white panels would clash with the existing interior design. Due to this, we adjusted the panel’s scrim color from white to black to better blend each panel into the ceiling. We measured the dimensions between the I-beams, cut and fabricated each panel in our headquarters, and installed them in place.

Product information
Foundation Acoustical Wall Panel
2″ Fiberglass + 1/8″ Molded Fiberglass + Black Scrim
Edge Detail: Square | Hardened

Improving conversations and experiences

After installation, noise levels were clearly and demonstrably lower than before. At the same time, our Foundation acoustical ceiling panels helped maintain Benchmark’s modern restaurant design. By addressing these noise issues, Benchmark Restaurant created a more social restaurant environment that keeps customers coming back for more. But, increased business is only one of the new benefits. Installing acoustics also creates a healthier space for both customers and staff to spend extended time in. Benchmark’s General Manager mentioned this when asked what he was most excited for. “I’m most looking forward to the impact that lessening the noise will have not only on the guests but on our team here. On top of that I’m looking forward to getting home at night and not having my wife ask, ‘why are you yelling at me?’ I think it will be quite an impact on the business.”