It cannot be overstated. If you botch your sound system in a restaurant, then you ruin the ambience. Arguably you then ruin the dining experience. I write to you as someone who started out with a degree in Hospitality Management and derailed. A system with too few speakers creates "hotspots" of volume to the layperson. Typically these are positioned in th corners of the rooms and the diners under the speakers cannot talk whilst the people in the centre of the room cannot hear the background music. Why spend any money on a system unless it is the right system?
You overcome this with a competant design from Inn Vision. A good background music system does not have to cost the earth.
It is in these types of jobs where the design we produce is so key, that budget vs. design vs. brief will become equilibrated. A designer or QS will hate me for saying this, but the sound is so important to the ambience that we should not be marginalised. It is our job to ensure this doesn't happen!
A Good Background Music System is the cornerstone of ambience in a restaurant. A bad system is an empty restaurant.
CASE in point
Loch Fyne, Covent Garden
Having said all of the above, we provide a cutting edge Tekky solution to the Loch Fyne Brief!
We used automatic volume controls to regulate the sound levels automatically at about plus 2dB above the background level of noise that the customers were making. Four microphones were positioned at strategic positions within the dining area to represent the four zones. Remote volume over CAT5 was provided for each zone, and the house manager could choose whether the AVC (Automatic Volume Control would be on or off.
A lovely restaurant with an innovative solution. I can also recommend the Gravadlax with a nice white.