Possibly the most challenging communication environment presents itself when we are dining out with friends. The clatter of dishes, the conversations of tables in close proximity, the hustle and bustle of the restaurant staff, all contribute to overwhelming noise levels for those with hearing impairment.
If truth be told, restaurant noise levels can even be a daunting experience at times for those with normal hearing. Some restaurants are designed for high noise levels to created the party atmosphere for the young crowd. Clearly, these are the types of restaurants to be avoided. But even beyond that, there are some practical things you can do to help guarantee a more enjoyable and successful dinner outing.
Timing Is Critical
Avoid dining out at peak times when the crowds are lively and the noise levels are booming. Departure for your favorite dining spot at 4:30 in the afternoon will put dinner on the table no sooner than 5:15; a suitable dining time for most people. It may seem a tad bit early, but if it means the difference between an enjoyable outing and an unbearable experience, it may be a worth while compromise. An advantage of eating earlier also means less wait time and guaranteed seating.
Where you are siting in a restaurant can make or break your evening out. A quick and easy solution to this problem is to inform your hostess that you would appreciate a table in a quieter area of the restaurant – less central to high traffic areas. Preferably, sitting near a wall to avoid additional noise distractions from behind will be the most beneficially. However, if you have advanced hearing devices with directional microphones to eliminate sounds from behind and to the sides of you, you should sit with the greatest amount of excess noise coming from behind you.
Choosing A Restaurant
Choosing a dining location is just as important as choosing an enjoyable meal from the menu. It is important to choose a restaurant that is designed to absorb surrounding noises. What we mean by this, are restaurants with widely spaces tables, carpeting, fabric covered furniture and curtains which will reduce reverberation common in restaurants with harder surfaces. With modern designed, it may be more difficult and that is where proper seating and dining time will come in handy.
Overcoming Large Groups
Dining with smaller, more intimate groups can lead to more enjoyable dining conversations. If you find yourself out with a large group though, try concentrating on the conversations with the people directly next to or across from you. Recognize that there will be limitations to what you can and cannot hear. It may be too difficult to hear the individual at the other end of the table, so if you know your limitations, you can avoid getting frustrated trying to overcome the impossible.
With a little pre-game planning, many of the frustrations that lead to communication failure in high noise level environments can be eliminated or reduced. Prepare and give your outing some advanced thought so that you can enjoy your meal and your company to the fullest.
Ready to Take the Next Step? We can help!
If you are tired of struggling to hear in social settings and would like to learn more about how the newest technology can help you, call today or set up an appointment online. We at Landmark Hearing are here to serve you in finding the best option to improve your lifestyle.
Please call us today at (408) 773-9933 or set up an appointment online at http://www.landmarkhearing.com/appointments/.
Landmark Hearing Services 877 W. Fremont Ave, Suite I-4, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
2 thoughts on “How to have a successful experience when dining out”
These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to dine out at a time with less crowds to make hearing easier. My husband is going to be getting his first set of hearing aids, and I want to make sure the transition to using them is as easy as possible for him. We tend to go out to eat with friends fairly often, so I’ll definitely try to schedule those outings for times of the day that are less crowded so there’s not so much noise to interfere for him. Thanks for the great post!
Wonderful! We are so glad that this was helpful for you. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Landmark Hearing Services or to make an appointment on our website. Also has your husband chosen a set of devices yet? Would we be able to serve you in any further way regarding that?