Older diners’ choices in restaurants reflect particular attitudes and needs, according to the Restaurants & Institutions’ 2010 New American Diner Study, as reported by Chain Leader:
– two-thirds of adults say they are more likely to have dinner at a chain on a weekday, and on the weekend, the figure is just over half. 71.3 percent are more likely to eat at a chain for lunch on a weekday. Matures, those age 64 or older, are more likely to say they choose independent restaurants. For dinner, 44.7 percent of matures say on a weekday they are more likely to visit an independent restaurant and fully 64.2 percent are more apt to do so on the weekend.
– From the Wall Street Journal:
Restaurateurs often say the only complaints they get about noise are from older clientele. As people age—and particularly when they are 65 or older—they often lose acuity in hearing high-frequency sounds, making it harder to understand speech, says Mark Ross, a professor emeritus of audiology at the University of Connecticut.
Low-frequency sounds, which include background hubbub and the thumping sound of a loud bass playing on a stereo, tend to be deeply annoying, says Chicago-based audiologist and acoustical engineer Tom Thunder. The evolutionary explanation is that many of primitive man’s biggest worries—a lion’s roar, thundershowers, or the rumbling of a volcano—transmit low-frequency sounds, Mr. Thunder says. But even some younger diners are irked. Danielle Stillman, 23, says she spent $70 on a graduation dinner for a friend at The Grove in Houston about six months ago. The goal of the meal was to catch up after not seeing each other for a while, but Ms. Stillman could barely hear her friend speak, she says. “I want to have a conversation without having to scream ‘what?’ at the top of my lungs,” says Ms. Stillman, an energy analyst.
… Once in a noisy restaurant, seek out tables in alcoves or side rooms, which can barricade or at least deflect noise, Mr. Thunder says. Convincing management to turn down the music is a double boon: The music itself gets softer, and then other diners lower their voices because they are no longer competing with the music.
Eat In Eat Out: Food trend forecast 2010: http://americanforecaster.com/