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Sensory Friendly Restaurants

J H
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5 posts
12 reviews
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Sensory Friendly Restaurants

I was hoping some people with sensory processing problems would join my quest to find suitable place a to eat. It's particularly difficult for people with these issues, including Autism. I was hoping some people could recommend places don't play music and also to leave reviews for places you have been to where you struggled because of the music. They don't know unless we tell them. It only takes a moment to leave some polite feedback about how much easier life can be without music to overwhelm your brain while you're trying to eat and catch up with friends and family.

13 replies to this topic
UK
Destination Expert
for Chester
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4,042 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

It is not only people with autism who prefer not to have music in restaurants. Maybe proprietors will take more notice of the rest of us if they think they are also discriminating against customers with sensory issues. Good Luck with your quest.

J H
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5 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

Thank you for your support.

It's not a matter of preference with a sensory processing problem but I appreciate that many people don't enjoy the music. I tried explain to one manager recently but the response that I got was that it's hard to please everyone and some people like the music. I didn't think to say it at the time but if I needed a wheelchair ramp to be able to use the restaurant without having massive issues, I wouldn't expect the response to be that some people prefer the stairs. Most people that prefer to have the music would still be able to enjoy a night out with friends and family if it was switched off. For many people autism, it's quite often not possible to eat in a restaurant with music due to sensory overwhelm.

Canada
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
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10,578 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

You sometimes get a better response if you ask them ,very politely, to turn the music down a little. Unfortunately it's very difficult to avoid noise levels even without music.

J H
Level Contributor
5 posts
12 reviews
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4. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

Thank you for the advice.

I usually book online and request a quiet table. This hasn't been an issue at my regular restaurant until recently. I spoke directly to the manager before we ordered. She said that it was difficult to isolate the speakers as the controls are awkward to reach. It hasn't been a problem for them in the past. She was polite but made it seem like a big inconvenience for her. I unplugged the speaker where we were sat myself and had a much easier evening. I contacted their head office and they have processed it as a formal complaint but they have a policy of having music on.

And of course we can't eliminate all noise from a restaurant but it's very simple to switch the music off without having much of an impact on anyone's evening. I can't always cope with eating in restaurants but when I can, having the music turned off or being in a quieter area makes the difference between a night where I can just about function to a night where I can't. This leads to days of recovery as it's exhausting trying to filter out the cacophony of sounds when I have filters that don't work properly.

London, United...
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10,887 posts
23 reviews
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5. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

I don’t know whether this will help but The Good Food Guide indicates at the end of each entry if the restaurant plays music.

J H
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5 posts
12 reviews
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6. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

I didn't know that. Thank you brittraveler31. That's very helpful and much appreciated!

Edinburgh, United...
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479 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

I know they're not known for their fine dining, but Wetherspoons don't play music.

J H
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5 posts
12 reviews
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8. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

They certainly aren't known for fine dining. Haha ;-) But you're right. They keep their prices cheaper by not having an entertainment licence and so don't play music.

Thank you for your input.

exeter
Level Contributor
62 posts
22 reviews
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9. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

Out of interest do you think “no music” nights might be of interest?

Asking as a restaurant owner at at music playing restaurant (often live music) who wishes to be as accommodating as possible.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
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12,120 posts
211 reviews
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10. Re: Sensory Friendly Restaurants

My husband is hearing impaired and he would certainly welcome “no music evenings”. Action on Hearing Loss have been very active on this issue. Might be worth contacting them for advice.

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