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Restaurant in Germany Faces Backlash For Banning Kids

After a couple of unsupervised kids wreaked havoc on his dining room, the owner said enough: No children after 5pm.

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A restaurant in Germany is facing severe criticism over its controversial decision to ban children after 5 pm. Rudolf Markl, owner of Oma’s Küche in Cologne, said he made the decision after several unsupervised kids damaged the dining room. Markl wants his guests to enjoy a peaceful meal and that wasn’t possible thanks to parents who “cannot control their children.”

“We have somehow reached that point where you say: This just can’t go on like this,” Markl told the DPA news agency.

Unsurprisingly, the new policy was met with its fair share of critics. Parents said it’s unfair that they should not be prohibited from dining with the whole family because of the unruly behavior of other children. Even others in the restaurant industry weren’t pleased. Lars Schwarz, head of the Hotel and Restaurant in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, expressed his unhappiness with the ban, telling DW.com: “In this state, we aim to be friendly to children.”

Turns out, the ban may not even be legal, and Bernhard Franke, the head of Germany’s Anti-discrimination Office, said that a lawsuit may be filed against Markl for the restaurant’s policy, which could be seen as discriminatory.”The arguments such as the higher noise level that would disturb the guests are not necessarily enough for a wholesale ban on children below a certain age,” said Franke.

Franke argued that a better policy would be to simply ask families to leave if their children are behaving poorly. Short of losing in court, it doesn’t seem like a change in policy is coming from Markl any time soon. The majority of criticism toward the new rule, he says, has come online. The overwhelming majority of his customers, however, are happy with the change.