For those who can’t decide if they love pizza or their iPod more, restaurant chain PizzaExpress has come to their rescue, by creating exclusive diners areas complete with iPod docks.
The booths are acoustically designed to reduce disruptive noise emanating from the rest of the restaurant. According to supplied figures, exactly 84 per cent of people in the UK have had a conversation in a restaurant ruined by background noise and precisely 16 per cent of UK diners have missed the words, “I love you”, because of this same infernal noise.
We can only admire the precision of these figures but can’t help but wonder that if they missed it, how can they be sure their partner was going to say it? We need to know.
We are assured that the booths contain speakers overhead, as otherwise the dock would just a place to put your iPod while you eat, which would of course be silly.
We also wonder if replacing the noise from the restaurant with music from your own iPod would help, but hopefully the absorbent acoustic discs above the seating, as used in the Albert Hall, will help diners discern conversation from music.
Other tech inside the booths includes the ability to control the lighting, and a button to alert a waiter or waitress if they want to pay the bill.
If you’d like to give this restaurant of the future a go right now, you’ll need to head over to Richmond in London, as that’s where the first one will be. PizzaExpess said the booths would be rolled out nationwide throughout 2011.