Restaurant Makes Controversial Decision to Ban Children Under 14

Parents who have been turning a blind eye to their children’s unruly public behavior are no longer getting a pass at one German restaurant. Oma’s Küche (meaning Grandma’s Kitchen) has banned children age 14 and under from eating there after 5 pm.

The eatery, located in Binz on Rugen Island, is well-known for its great food and service, but management decided institute the new dinner policy amid growing frustration. Rudolf Markl, owner of the establishment, reached his breaking point after some antiques were damaged by out-of-control kids.

He had enough:

“We have been thinking about this for a very long time. There has to be a limit somewhere where we say: it’s just not possible.”

According to the restaurateur, it was just a matter of time before they needed to take drastic measures. Prior to the antique incident, kids have been acting out of order by tossing around wine glasses, pulling tablecloths, and disturbing other customers with their antics.

Markl shared that the parents just ignore the bad behavior while eating and enjoying themselves. He was very clear that his policy is aimed at lazy parents who do nothing to “control their children”.

Even if you don’t have children of your own, it’s likely that you’ve bore witness to somebody’s child acting up in public. While there are parents who need help or have unique circumstances that account for the unruliness, many just choose to ignore it.

Oma’s Küche is dividing people online and locally into two sides: no ban and yes ban. Many are not happy. The restaurant has found lots of support from other businesses in the hospitality industry who contend with the same issue, but others are on the fence as they want to be welcoming to all guests and visitors.

A local government office also expressed the potential legal ramifications of discriminating against clients of a certain age. Some patrons may decide to sue on those grounds, but it is too early to tell. They suggest that offenders simply be asked to leave.

However, Oma’s Küche isn’t the world’s first eatery to impose such a ban. Similar policies are popping up all over – including in Australia, Tampa, and New York City. Signs reading “adults-only” or “no kids” with or without specified hours greet guests who want a quieter dining experience.

Not everyone who implements a rule goes the way of a full-on ban, as some may limit their restrictions to children of a certain age or specific hours. In some cases, only strollers and high chairs are banned. Restaurants choosing to adopt such policies do face some public backlash, but they also find support from other parents.

Businesses are trying to address how to welcome their diners while being fair to all paying guests. If disruptive children with inconsiderate parents are ruining a night out for other guests, then what do you do to keep everyone happy?

Parents can either corral their kids, eat elsewhere, or spend time at this spot before 5. Like other restaurants, it is quite possible that Oma’s Küche move to create a “quiet oasis” will spur a spike in business – or not.

Are you on the side of the restaurant or do you disagree? Have you ever dined at a place that has a child ban? What do you think of businesses that ban kids?