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Nov 23, 2009 04:49 AM

Texas Road House

Against our better judgment, we recently stopped in a Texas Road House. After about ten minutes, we had to leave due to the excess noise level (piped in music at blaring decibels). I understand low level chains purposely crank up the background noise to drive out diners for more table turnover, but why punish one self to ever ever return, never mind stay. I also feel for the waitstaff who will obviously realize hearing problems in their later years - well beyond their working in that unhealthy environment.

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    1. TRH is one of my favorite chains restaurants. While this place is a bit noisier than most, i thinks its silly to think that one would incur hearing loss. Just like all chains, TRH makes their money by appealing to the masses, and with the 1hr wait on the weekends even in this depressed economy they must be doing something right. Some people dont like spice in their food, loud music, or eating much past 6pm......must be a generational thing.

      8 Replies
      1. re: joe777cool

        Guess I'll never know if they are any good. After having to essentially yell at the waitress to ask if there was a more quiet section (there was none), we took a few minutes to read over the menu & then left when the noise level became way too uncomfortable. I still say it amazes me that anyone would ever stay, never mind return to such an environment.. For the record, an hour wait does not mean the place is going to be good. Ever been near an Olive Garden or Red Lobster on a weekend night? What are these people thinking? (food quality / not noise level).

        My guess for the TRH draw must be the free peanuts.

        1. re: Clams047

          I still say it amazes me that anyone would ever stay, never mind return to such an environment..


          It's possible the volume got turned a bit too high the day you were there and/or people are less sensitive to noise than you are. I've been to Texas Roadhouse several times and never noticed the volume being too loud.

          1. re: pollymerase

            I travel to certain sporting events with a group of 6 to 10 guy's. We like the TRH's because we can drink beer be loud and eat cheap food.
            If I tried to bring my wife to one for a nice dinner, she would question my sanity. People have to realize what the venue is before they try it.

            1. re: otps

              Thankfully TRH has Nothing to do with Texas...It is an Outside group who ownes the Name only...They even sued a small roadhouse in Texas to protect their claim to the name.

              1. re: SAguy

                "Nothing to do with Texas" will be news to the 25 or 30 locations they have in the state.

                Undoubtedly the folks eating there are tourists.

                1. re: wabbitslayer

                  I have to agree with JOE this is one of my fav restaurants, the bread is fantastic, ribs are usually good, Chili is fantastic, and the beer is usually the coldest of any restaurants. It definately not a romantic dinner option tho.

                  1. re: wabbitslayer

                    So they got a TRH in every city from Abilene to Waco,,,they're still based out of Louisville Ky. Taco Bell sells tacos in every one of those cities

                  2. re: SAguy

                    The CEO of TX Roadhouse lives in Denton TX, although the first TRH was started in CLARKSVILLE, INDIANA, the owner, Kent Taylor has Texas roots. Who gives a damn what state it's named after? I live in Colorado and love going to the Old Chicago. Maybe I should be mad b/c they aren't saying the old Denver. Those lying jerks! Point is, we're talking about food quality, price and service, relevance of names is well, irrelevant.

          2. This is one of many places that is annoying like this. I don't know what market research says that people like having pre-programmed music blaring at them while eating, but I can't allow it. It doesn't even seem to make sense...everyone's tastes are different, why foist music on them. If anything, thematically-appropriate music nice and low.

            5 Replies
            1. re: observor

              I posted earlier about going there with my friends.
              Would you prefer that we went to your favorite quiet high end spot and made the noise that 6 to 8 guy's would. We can and do go to the best places with our wives and families, but when the guy's are together we go to noisy places.
              Thematically-appropriate music? The theme is fun and noisy and nice and low doesn't fit.
              I have eaten in in many restaurants from Iceland to Italy and across the US.
              Know your venue before you go. Would you go to a Korean restaurant and complain that they didn't serve Swedish meatballs.

              1. re: otps

                Well, it's a restaurant, it's not strictly a bar. I don't see why music has to be blaring. You sit near a speaker at Texas Roadhouse and it's blasting at 4:30 pm, which is likely well before you and your buddies show up to bother us.

                1. re: observor

                  You are right about the time. At 4:30 pm until 6:30 there is no reason to have the music blaring. I happen to be 58 years old and when my wife and I go out it is at the earlier times. ( Sr specials ).
                  When we show up as a group we may be noisy but we would never bother other diners, our grandchildren might be there.
                  You are right about it being a restaurant, there are also topless restaurants etc. around the country, would you complain about them also?
                  Just order take out and eat at home, then you can e mail TV networks about their annoying programming while you eat.

                  1. re: otps

                    Where are these topless restaurants???? or do you mean tapas?

                    1. re: roro1831

                      Come out to Vegas, we have them both! ^_- (granted, they are strip-clubs with nice restos inside them as well..ONLY in Vegas!)

                      We used to have TRH here in Las Vegas, but they all closed down, a few years ago. DH and myself actually enjoyed them quite a bit. The rolls were great, and I liked the steak better than Outback.

                      Too noisy? When you don't enjoy a certain type of music, it's ALWAYS too noisy!

            2. While TRH isn't a place for a quite romantic dinner, I would go there more often if DW weren't allergic to peanuts, which are everywhere at TRH. (I have to wait for a business colleague to come to town.)

              While not "cheap," TRH offers good food for a reasonable price in a relaxed atmosphere. While "support your local restaurants" sounds good, the decent steak house in my area is pricier, and I don't get to pick my steak out as I walk in the door.

              As for:
              I understand low level chains purposely crank up the background noise to drive out diners for more table turnover

              1. TRH is hardly a low level chain.
              2. I find it hard to believe a business plan would include, "Let's drive customers out."

              12 Replies
              1. re: al b. darned

                Due to the noise level, I'll never really find out if TRH is a decent restaurant, but from my limited experience, IMO, it appeared to be on level with Olive Garden & Red Lobster, except more geared towards the beer drinking crowd. A great place for a bunch of guys as someone pointed out, but hardly seems to be a place for families & couples.

                Since we arrived between 5-6pm, I was surprised that the backgound music / noise was so deafening. However, it's a well known tactic for such chains to crank up the volume mid evening , particularly when they are crowded & need tables for more turnover. Noise / echos, etc are also typically built into the design of such buildings. I suppose the high noise level gives some the feeling of a party atmosphere.

                1. re: Clams047

                  I seriously doubt they drive up noise levels to get people out of there. It's one thing not to want people to linger (ie uncomfortable chairs), it's another thing to bother them so much they won't come back.

                  1. re: Clams047

                    the noise level varies greatly at differnt locations. I had after work drinks and a short business meeting at TRH in Methuen, MA today at 5:30PM (choice was made by other person). The noise was not loud. We had no problem having a conversation in ordinary voice levels. The waitress told me that they increase the music level when the line dancing starts at 6:30

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      That's respectable (short...I think you went there for fun!) but, regardless, there's no real reason to have blaring's not a Texas bar, it's a restaurant...they should just keep Texas-style music at a background level, because, as far as I know, no patrons are line-dancing.

                      1. re: observor

                        Observor, sorry to be so cranky to you earlier. With today's sound systems there is no reason to not provide a quieter area for people. I guess what I missed is that the music is loud during the early hours, most places I know of turn up the music after 8 or 9 pm. I have only been to 2 TRH's, one in Ohio, and 1 in NM. and it was after 8 pm both times.

                        1. re: observor

                          "...there's no real reason to have blaring music..."

                          Revenue for 2008 was just shy of 900 million dollars. If loud music is corporate policy, then they've apparently managed to find customers who appreciate noise.

                          1. re: big o

                            Or maybe they've managed to find customers who like the food at the price. Perhaps that revenue could increase if they didn't alienate some people.

                            1. re: observor

                              Perhaps. And perhaps we'll find out for sure, after you open several hundred locations of Texas-themed chain restaurant, devise a more appropriate playlist, and then run it at acceptable volume levels.

                          2. re: observor

                            I was looking at some of my older posts ans saw this reply. Last Tuesday, I ate at the TRH in Leominster, MA.
                            The line dancing started at 7PM. The general manager made an announcement inviting patron to get up and join the staff line dancing. Not only were there patrons line dancing, but 2 servers came and asked if they could teach our two kids to dance and let us have a drink sans kids.

                      2. re: al b. darned

                        Whats cheaper and lower level than TRH? McDonalds?

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          That, and every other chain you can think of, they all alternate and are vying for the absolute worst experience any entity can possibly inflict upon a person...don't you read the posts this board at all?

                          1. re: wabbitslayer

                            Play nice, widdle wabbit. I give this board a periodic look-in. Actually,not "every other chain you can think of." There are some that operate at a much higher level than TRH; Ruth's Chris and Oceanaire spring to mind, as does Palomino.

                      3. This whole thread has got me hungry....looking forward to my next meal at TRH..