It can be hard to drum up business as a restaurant owner when you constantly have misbehaving children or oblivious parents ruining peak hours. We've all been there, too. Whether we're just trying to enjoy a nice meal or engage in conversation with our company, sometimes there's just that one screaming Mimi who spoils the evening entirely.
Well, a German restaurant called Oma's Küche (Grandma's Kitchen) decided to nip things in the bud before they got worse and introduced a new policy: no kids under the age of 14 allowed after 5:00 p.m.
Deutsche Welle reported that the restaurant's owner, Rudolf Markl, told the DPA news agency the decision was a long time coming. Between watching children come in and ruin tablecloths, annoy fellow diners, and even throw wine glasses around the place, Markl had had enough. The breaking point for him allegedly stemmed from a group of youngsters damaging inventory that wound up wrecking antique photo stands.
Markl added that parents tend to watch their unruly offspring with a smile and continue on with their meal, refusing to get involved. The move to ban children after certain hours is not necessarily directed at the kids themselves either. It's more so a message to parents who "cannot control their children" he said.
Naturally, the move was met with criticism from those in the media, but Markl said that plenty of patrons have commended him on the decision. He told the news agency he believes this choice will offer his customers an "oasis of peace."
Markl isn't the first business owner to gravitate towards a child-free zone, and he certainly won't be the last. This craze has been present, particularly in high scale places, for several years now. Just last year an upscale Italian restaurant banned children younger than five and saw a huge spike in their reservations. According to the Washington Post, Caruso's went from 50 diners a day to approximately 80. There are dozens of other restaurants with similar policies for their locations.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, if you're planning to visit Germany anytime soon you might want to leave your little one at home.