Swiss restaurant raises ire with ban on baby strollers
A decision by a popular lakeside café in the Swiss town of Arbon to ban prams within its premises has caused anger among customers with small children.
One angry mother took to Facebook recently to vent her frustration after she and two friends, all with children aged from nine to eleven months were barred from entering the restaurant of the Hotel Wunderbar because they tried to bring their strollers inside.
"We go there so often and have always put our prams nicely out of the way and now they don’t want us anymore," wrote Anina L. on Facebook after the incident.
While some regulars at the café have responded to the pram ban positively, others have responded to the Facebook post on the subject by calling the venue’s management “stupid” and “arrogant”. There have also been calls for a boycott.
A member of staff at the restaurant confirmed to The Local on Tuesday that there was no ban on children at the venue and that parents could bring their prams along as long as these were left outside.
Meanwhile, Hotel Wunderbar manager Simone Siegmann has told regional daily the St. Galler Tagblatt she is surprised by the “primitive reaction” on Facebook to the prohibition. There was a whole group of mothers out there who became confrontational as soon as this issue came up, she said.
Siegmann, who says she has received messages of support from former guests from as far afield as the Netherlands and the United States, defended the pram ban by saying it had made it difficult for staff to work.
In a Facebook response to the mother who complained recently about being barred from the restaurant, the Wunderbar manager said the comments that followed had made her smile, adding that it was precisely this type of attitude that has made her and her staff bring in the ban on prams.
Siegmann said workers at the café had been "patient and understanding" for a very long time but defended the stroller prohibition by saying there had been as many as 14 strollers in the restaurant at any one time.
She wrote that the noise levels had sometimes unbearable, adding that children had gone off into other parts of the restaurant and taken items out of the fridge. The restaurant manager also noted that mats had been taken from venue toilets so that people could change their children on the tables.
"We run a restaurant, “not a playgroup", Siegmann told the St. Galler Tagblatt.