Tips for Dining Out with Hearing Loss
Strategically choose your restaurant. Some restaurants are simply louder than others are. Be sure to consider the atmosphere of the restaurant when choosing where to eat out so you are in an environment that is suitable for your needs. Try to avoid restaurants with hard surfaces because they will echo and restaurants with dim lighting which could make it difficult to see visual cues.
Avoid the busiest times. Certain times of the day are busier than others are, and the more people around you, the louder the restaurant will be. Try to schedule your meals earlier or later so that you can avoid the crowds.
Be upfront about your hearing loss. Telling the restaurant about your hearing loss when making a reservation or telling the host/ hostess upon arrival will give them the ability to better accommodate your needs.
Request a quiet spot. Pick a table as far away from the kitchen and the bar as possible as they are often the noisiest places in the restaurant. Sitting in a corner or against a wall will help minimize background noise as well. You can also often avoid the noisy interior by requesting outdoor seating if available.
Choose your seat. In a group setting, choose the seat that will best allow you to hear the conversation and engage in it.
Eat out with a smaller group. While it is nice to eat out in large groups, it will likely be more difficult. There are often multiple conversations going on at once and sometimes more than one person is speaking at the same time. Smaller groups make it easier to focus on and follow the conversation at hand.
Wear your hearing aids! Wearing your hearing aids will help filter out the background noise, so you can engage in meaningful conversations and enjoy your meal to the fullest.
Don’t let a loud environment ruin your dining experience. Follow these tips to put yourself in the best position possible to have a fantastic time.