The Lowdown: banning kids from restaurants

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Lowdown: banning kids from restaurants

Related tags: Law, Children

A restaurant in Germany has banned children under the age of 14 from eating there after 5pm.

That seems a little harsh.
It does- although Rudolf Markl, the owner of the restaurant (which is ironically called Oma’s Kuche, meaning ‘Grandma’s Kitchen’) says that he has good reason for the ban. According to him, children were knocking over wine glasses and making a mess of his restaurant, while their parents "acknowledged it with a smile, kept on eating, and didn't care at all." 

So it’s more of a punishment for the parents than the children, then?
I suppose so. Some people have complained about the ban, saying that it is illegal as it violates Germany's laws against age discrimination. Markl, on the other hand, says that his decision has been welcomed by many of his customers in the island of Rugen, who are grateful for the “oasis of peace” his ban has created.

Is he trying to say it’s a good business decision?
It sounds like it- and he wouldn’t be the first person to realise the benefits of banning kids from restaurants. A few years ago a restaurant called Flynn’s in Australia banned children under the age of seven after an altercation with the family of a screaming child, which later boycotted the restaurant. Shortly after announcing the new policy, it made the highest weekend profit ever in its 17 years of operation.

Is there anywhere where banning kids hasn’t gone down well?
Marco Magliozzi, owner of family-run fish bistro La Fraschetta del Pesce in Rome, banned “little terrors” (in his own words) from his restaurant after their antics got too much for him. His decidedly un-Italian decision didn’t go down too well with his customers, and was described as “unbelievable” and “not even legal” on Tripadvisor by disappointed customers.

How bad were the children?
“They run slalom among the tables,” Magliozzi told newspaper La Repubblica. “They throw olive oil on the floor, they upturn the water, they send the salt seller flying across the room, they try to dismantle the furniture, they shout, they cry and above all, they hate fish.” They do sound pretty bad, to be fair, but police eventually told Magliozzi that he had to ditch the ban.

Fair enough. So are dogs still allowed?
Yes, apparently dogs are still welcome, unlike at Wetherspoons, which will ban dogs from all its restaurants from 10 September. "Even well behaved dogs can be unpredictable,” says a spokesperson. “Every dog owner thinks their dog is perfect.”

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