WHY do those in the hospitality industry believe there is a need for loud music?
Cynics might claim it is for the same reason mediocre musicians crank up the music, so that it is near impossible to assess the quality.
So does loud music in hospitality venues equal bad food and bad service?
Definitely the latter, I believe, because care for patrons should be the number one priority for staff.
I hear so many complaints from people about not being able to have a proper conversation in a cafe, restaurant or pub, because what should be soft background music is far too loud and often inappropriate crap and rap or boom-boom music.
In the good old days background music was just that.
Lovely soft classical music that did not interfere with conversations, but now rap music is an attack on our senses, when all we want is to enjoy a quiet meal or a couple of drinks.
When a friend and I asked for the music in a cafe to be turned down at 7am one Saturday morning, we were told the kitchen staff needed it to wake up. Duh!?
After an art exhibition opening, 27 of us went to an empty bar.
We ordered food and drinks and asked for the music to be turned down.
After a while we were told that the manager said patrons in that venue liked it that way, so we stood up and left, to make a Chinese restaurant next door very happy.
On our way out a visiting friend from Lismore thanked staff at a Freo West End cafe for not playing loud music, so that his wife, he and I had have a proper conversation.
People start talking louder when loud music is played, in the hope they will be able to hear each other.
That makes the noise even worse and unacceptable.
Is the loss of patrons and revenue good for business?
Those who complain about noise in venues are not just a whingeing mob of grumpy old people.
Many younger ones also would love to have a nice chat with friends without having to shout and go home with sore throats.
But in this fast-ageing country of ours, it would not be clever for hospitality operators to dismiss seniors as irrelevant to their business.
We too like to go out and socialise and we should be catered for!
One should also consider people with hearing issues.
Hearing aids increase ambient noise, so it can become rather painful to hear loud music combined with people talking loudly.
The only option to alleviate the pain often is to leave, and that’s not fair.
Cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs are not discos, so turn it down or do not pipe music at all.
No one is listening to it, so why bother playing it? Do you really want your customers to leave?
Many Fremantle venues have Dog Friendly stickers on their doors and windows, so maybe it is time we started a similar campaign, where venues can claim to be Conversation Friendly.