I have come to believe they just want people to eat and get the hack out so they can fill the tables over and over.
Nothing new. Restaurants have changed in the last 55+ years [yes, I’m old]. Almost no carpeting & draperies which is great for sounding dampening. Acoustical ceilings are almost nonexistent. It’s like eating in a drum. cvkenp is correct, all they want is your money. Slam bam, thank you Mame.
The interesting thing I find is the mixture of long conversation and piped music which tends to drown each other out as well as double the decibels level inside restaurants. And the kiss of death “for hard of hearing” is being seated next to a full bar with music blaring in the background. Waiter - check please.