Civil treatment of employees in the restaurant sector is the new aim in Copenhagen, Source: Depositphotos

Copenhagen restaurants introduce yellow cards for misbehaving diners

Copenhagen restaurants introduce yellow cards for misbehaving diners

It reflects a rising trend to promote civility in the city’s dining-out culture and to ensure better treatment of workers in the industry

There is a new and rising trend gaining traction in the restaurant sector of Copenhagen. It takes form in various ways, but the aim is more or less the same – promote more civil behaviour among diners and ensure better treatment of food establishment employees by the public.

A report by København LIV decided to uncover what’s behind this trend and how it is affecting the restaurant industry in the Danish capital.

One thing that’s spread and become an increasingly common practice is for restaurants to add a box requesting wannabe diners to promise to behave well. This box appears when a customer makes an online reservation for dinner and cannot complete the process unless they tick it marking their commitment.

We made an active choice and introduced a visible security policy on our website at the turn of the year. For us, it is a way of making our guests aware that with us you must behave properly and respect our employees. Unfortunately, it has been necessary,” says Anna Broe Alkær, who is responsible for HR at Madklubben, a franchise dining chain that has 30 locations in Copenhagen.

Safer workspace

For people working in the catering and hospitality sector, this means not only dealing with managers and colleagues but also with the general public, which is the lifeblood of these businesses. And whereas regulations have established ways to deal with problems among workers when it comes to improper behaviour from clients this often falls in a more of a grey zone, often due to the capitalist notion that “the customer is always right”.

Serious businesses, however, must show concern for their own workforce and their well-being if they really want to thrive.

Mrs Alkær shared with København LIV that in addition to asking for a commitment to civility from customers during the reservation process, the franchise has decided to implement a “yellow card” system similar to football games.

Suppose an employee feels aggrieved with the treatment they are receiving from customers, such as insults, rude behaviour or sexual advances. In that case, they can talk to their manager and then place a yellow card on the table as a warning to the customers to start behaving. When this is not enough then the diners are asked to leave the establishment.



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