Dining out is one of the most popular pastimes. However, some places can be crowded and noisy. Don’t let a hearing impairment take away the joy of eating at your favorite restaurant. We have tips for dining out with hearing loss.
How Popular is Restaurant Dining?
Everyone has a favorite restaurant. It might be a diner, bistro, grill, or cafe; but they almost all have something in common: noise. We all like to eat at those restaurants. According to a 2016 Gallup poll 61% of those surveyed ate out at least once in the past week. In 2018, a Zagat survey revealed that the number one complaint from diners (24%) was noise. So, if you have trouble hearing when you eat out, you are definitely not alone. What you may not realize, is that you can ask for accommodations so that you can enjoy your time eating at your favorite restaurants. Here are 7 tips for dining out when you have hearing loss.
- Make reservations or call ahead. For restaurants that don’t take reservations, you can always call ahead and make a request. Let them know that you are coming and how they can help ensure you can hear. Request a low traffic area away from the speakers, kitchen, and other noise.
- Ask to turn down the music. You probably want to choose a restaurant that doesn’t play loud music. However, even soft music can interfere with your hearing. Don’t be afraid to ask them to turn the music down. The restaurant may not be able to be that accommodating, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Remember whenever asking to be polite.
- Choose a booth over a table. Booths are more intimate and usually aren’t centrally located like tables are. Plus, booths usually have high backs that will defer noise away from you.
- Sit in the middle of your table. Especially if you have a big party, try to sit in the middle rather than at the end. You have a better chance of hearing more people when you are closer to everyone.
- Request written specials. At many restaurants, the server will come over and announce the specials. You can ask the server, or even ask ahead of time for a written list of specials. They usually will have this ready and it will eliminate so many problems that can occur trying to hear.
- Avoid the crowds. If you can work around eating at the most popular times, you will be able to avoid the crowds; and crowds equal noise.
- Adjust your hearing aids. If you wear hearing aids, don’t forget to adjust them for the environment. Your directional microphones are designed to pick up noise in front of you, so sit with your back to the noisiest part of the room.
Consult with the Hearing Experts at Kenwood Hearing Center
Whether you are making a New Year’s resolution to keep your hearing healthy or just trying to make the best of dealing with hearing loss, we are here to help. The audiologists at Kenwood Hearing are always available for consultation. Please contact us today and schedule an appointment. The experts at Kenwood Hearing Center are trained to help you and your family with all your hearing healthcare needs.