Seniors Excluded: Cafe's Ban on Elderly Customers Draws Controversy | Be Korea-savvy

Seniors Excluded: Cafe’s Ban on Elderly Customers Draws Controversy

Elderly men are gathered at a public park in central Seoul on April 12, 2022. (Yonhap)

Elderly men are gathered at a public park in central Seoul on April 12, 2022. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, May 10 (Korea Bizwire)Older South Koreans are up in arms over a photo of a local cafe’s “no-senior zone” notice shared on social media.

The cafe owner’s intention to welcome guide dogs but prohibit access to seniors added to the controversy.

The person responsible for sharing the photo of the cafe said the coffee shop is located in a quiet residential area.

“I don’t know why, but I’m just worried my parents would see this,” the person said.

Seniors who have been banned from the cafe expressed frustration.

“Nowadays, I don’t feel welcome, even in restaurants,” said an 82-year-old man surnamed Park. “I feel uncomfortable when I go to a place filled with young people.”

Business owners had different opinions depending on the generation they come from.

“When seniors come, five people would order two drinks. Some would get really loud,” said a 27-year-old cafe owner surnamed Shin. “I’m not saying that’s bad, but it becomes very difficult to deal with them.”

“There are, of course, some people who would throw a tantrum for no reason, but that doesn’t mean that all seniors should be banned from going to a cafe,” said a 62-year-old local convenience store owner surnamed Lee.

Experts argue that this is a result of the frustration accumulated by Generation MZ (millennials and Generation Z) towards the older generation.

“Limiting the scope of seniors’ activities will undermine their health and eventually add to society’s burden of taking care of them,” said Kim Mi-hye, a professor emeritus of social welfare at Ewha Womans University.

H. M. Kang (

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