Middle-Schoolers Banned From Restaurant Because of Their 'Disruptive and Destructive Behavior'


A restaurant in Wisconsin has banned middle-schoolers from its premises and it has patrons applauding the eatery for its bold move.

Brandon Coumbe, the manager of Tom’s Drive In in the town of Appleton, told Today Food that he was getting fed up with middle school-age kids being "so disruptive and destructive” while in his restaurant and disturbing other patrons and his staff.

  • He decided to post this sign around eight months ago.

    The sign, posted on the WRFV Local 5 Instagram account, read: 

    “Middle School Students: Due to mistreatment of Tom’s Drive In’s property, guests, and staff, you are no longer allowed inside of the building without parental supervision.

    "For those who did not cause any of the incidents, we are sorry for this inconvenience. You may still purchase food through the walk-up window.”

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  • According to Coumbe, the students’ behavior that caused him to post the sign included yelling profanities, carving designs and letters into table surfaces, using Sharpies to deface restaurant property and standing on tables.

    He said the kids would argue with other customers who confronted them about their disruptive behavior.

    Coumbe said families with young children who used to frequent his establishment after school and had become his regular customers stopped coming in because of the middle-schoolers’ unruly conduct.

  • "We want to create a comfortable and safe environment for our customers and staff and protect the building from any potential damage," Coumbe said.

    He plans to keep the policy in place through the end of the school year, and then will work with other managers to reevaluate what actions they will take over schools’ summer break.

  • Coumbe has a lot of supporters, and many of them came to his defense on the Instagram post:

    One commenter wrote: “The business is the owner and managements livelihood. They are there to offer food, not babysit unaccompanied 11, 12, and 13 year olds. Kudo's to Tom’s!"

    And this commenter spoke from personal experience: “I don’t exactly know this story but having worked in fast food for a good time I can definitely understand why,” they wrote. “Good job on the owner for taking action which they ARE allowed to do.”

  • Coumbe clarified by saying that the middle-schoolers are still welcome if they are accompanied by their parents or a supervising adult.

    He also added that the students can still use the walk-up window to order and eat at the restaurant’s outdoor seating. 

    Coumbe also stressed to Today that his move is not to criticize all students, and that in fact he has high school students on his staff. 

    But he wants to send a message that will hopefully "teach them to respect the properties they go to,” he said.

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