Monday, August 15, 2022
Michael Stone Online

I Know What I Saw, Hofbrauhaus

Earlier this month, the Telegraph newspaper and some blogs followed up on a video I made from my summer trip to Germany.

It shows a server at the famed Hofbrauhaus beer hall telling an Asian customer that she can’t sit at a certain table near the main entrance because it’s “reserved”—the very table that Hannah and I were sitting at (and filming from) after spontaneously entering the restaurant without anything close to a reservation. I also filmed another customer sitting at her same spot shortly thereafter without any problem.

I decided to film this instance after witnessing such bigotry happen to several individuals and groups of people of Asian appearance. Not really having a plan for the video at the time, my only regret is not hanging around longer and documenting the trend rather than an example.

Either way, the business was made aware that they had been discovered. The Telegraph quotes a spokeswoman as saying:

“The Hofbräuhaus is visited daily by people from Munich and all over world. We are glad of every guest. The sound on the video is not clear, and the waiter is depicted on it is no longer employed at the Hofbräuhaus and has not been since more than two months ago. We shall try to clarify the facts and ask him for an account.”

How they do this discriminatory seating is obviously discreet and hard to catch, especially because most people are unsuspecting tourists who will only visit the business one time and wouldn’t think twice. But regardless of what Hofbrauhaus claims, or even if they’ve now changed their policies, I know what I saw and observed the trend repeatedly.

While there isn’t much online, perhaps indicating that they’re rarely caught, someone on Trip Advisor also took note:

“We went there in a group of 10 as it was highly recommended to be a must-go in Munich. On arrival in the evening, the place was extremely crowded with a fun Bavarian spirit. After searching for almost half an hour, we finally found a table. Following that, what we had was an utterly terrible and racist experience. The staff around didn’t even bother waiting on us instead guests who arrived after us had their orders taken and served. The reason was obvious, we are the only table there with the 10 of us being yellow-skinned. When we voice out our displeasure, we were only replied by the waitress howling at the top of her voice “YOU WAIT OR YOU LEAVE!!!!” It seems that this restaurant doesn’t welcome asians or maybe we look to poor to be able to afford a meal there. Avoid this restaurant at all costs if you are yellow-skinned. Your money will definitely be well
Spent at other places.”

I do hope Hofbrauhaus has indeed since changed and brought itself into the 21st century. If not, I would encourage visitors to Munich to sit near the main entrance and document what they see.

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