July 25, 2016

Too much noise

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I have a new urgent issue: our new restaurants are too loud. That is a screen shot above, we’re clocking in at about 76 dB. Too loud. But it gets even higher, up to 80 dB. Just an iPhone app, so I don’t know that it’s perfectly accurate, but in any case it’s too loud. Sorry everybody! We didn’t intend for this and we recognize it’s a problem. We’ll try to address it as fast as we can.

I think this is a combination of factors, not least of which is the number of people in the restaurants. Right now I’m in LMA and I can count 68 people in here. And it’s 1:30pm, a bit post lunch rush.

But it’s also due to hard surfaces. The new restaurants have a ton of glass. LMA has glass walls on both sides of the restaurant.

The new restaurants are also a bit larger than what we’ve done in the past. LMA and FIN clock in over 2,000 sq. ft, where KND, HFI, DTX are 1,500 sq ft.

We’re left with restaurants that sound great in the early morning and mid-afternoon, when there aren’t as many customers. But we want the restaurants to be great when packed, not just when empty!

We’re going to step through a series of measures aimed at knocking down the loudness. I’m expecting the first of those measures to be in place by the end of this week. We’ll keep going until we get to a level that is comfortable. I think this is critical not just for our customers but for our employees. It’s not fun to work in an environment that’s clocking in close to 80 dB. So sorry! We’re working to fix.

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