Screaming babies at restaurants is one of those things we pretend we’re okay with so that we don’t look like jerks. In reality, we hate it. We do feel sorry for the helpless parents who know their kid is disturbing the entire restaurant, but we’d still prefer it if they weren’t there. Oma’s Küche, a restaurant located on the island of Rügen in Germany is taking a brave stand for all those who want to dine without the sound of tantrums: it’s banning children aged 14 and under from the restaurant after 5:00 PM.
Rudolf Markl, the restaurant’s owner, told the DPA News Agency last week that he was simply fed up with kids ruining tablecloths, shattering wine glasses, and disturbing other patrons, all while the parents sit idly by. When a few unruly kids recently damaged some antique photo stands, that was Markl’s breaking point. “We have somehow reached that point where you say: This just can’t go on like this,” he said.
Of course, the new policy is controversial, with some claiming discrimination, but Markl actually isn’t the first to ban children from his establishment. Several restaurants all across the world, including in North Carolina, Australia, and Florida, also outlaw children. While you might think the prohibition would damage business, it’s actually led to an increase in patrons. Flynn’s, a European-style restaurant in Queensland, Australia, reported the highest weekend profits in its 17-year history shortly after announcing the new policy. Caruso’s in Mooresville, North Carolina, similarly saw their daily customer count rise from 50 to 80.
It might not please parents, but there certainly seems to be a demographic of diners eager for an interruption-free meal.