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      A Speak Easy Splash

      Speak Easy has been making waves recently, grabbing headlines and the attention of key movers and shakers in the restaurant industry.

      By: Madeleine Haughton-Boakes | 20 October 2017

      We kicked off a month of action in October with the launch of major new research findings, alongside some shocking decibel readings from major restaurant chains showing that a dinner out can be as noisy as sitting next to a lawnmower. Our findings were picked up by at least 16 regional radio stations and 12 national news outlets, including The Times, The Daily Mail and The Telegraph, plus TV broadcasters, ITV and Sky. The stories led with our discovery that more than 40% of people have opted for a takeaway to avoid noisy restaurants.

      Supporters up and down the county have also been getting involved by emailing their local newspaper about the Speak Easy campaign. Using a template message to get them started, we’ve been calling for people to share their biggest gripes about noisy restaurants and name and shame (or praise) a particular restaurant in their area.

      We’ve had a fantastic response, with over 300 messages being sent – and at least 15 so far being published – in their local ‘letters to editors’ section. Many more are likely to trickle in over coming months – and it’s not too late to email your local newspaper about Speak Easy, so do get in touch with the campaigns team if you want to take part: campaigns@hearingloss.org.uk

      Speak Easy went to The Restaurant Show

      The Restaurant Show in London last month was a major three-day event attended by over 10,000 restaurant industry professionals – and an invaluable opportunity for us to get the decision-makers thinking about restaurant acoustics. We had a stand for the duration and, equipped with our eye-catching back-drop and examples of the incredible press coverage the campaign has received, we delivered our message.

      We had conversations with over 60 restaurant and hotel owners, journalists from key trade publications, restaurant industry consultants, audio system creators and chefs. Most of the people we spoke to needed little or no convincing that there’s a problem with noise levels in the industry and many readily admitted that they knew their restaurant was too loud.

      We’re planning follow-up meetings, securing slots at future industry networking events and asking those who told us they’ve already taken steps to improve their acoustics, if we can share their story to encourage others to follow suit.

      So what’s next on the Speak Easy menu?

      Now that we have the restaurant industry’s attention, we need to build on the public momentum we’ve garnered to prove how important this issue is to so many people.  That’s why we’ve launched the #DecibelSquad!

      Join the #DecibelSquad!

      The #DecibleSquad is an online community of people sharing decibel readings taken in restaurants, writing Trip Advisor reviews about venues, and sharing their stories, all using the #DecibleSquad hashtag.

      Find out more about how to join at www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/decibelsquad

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      By: Katharina Zenke and Shiran Koifman
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