'No Tuber Zones' In South Korean Restaurants Forbid YouTubers As Patrons


YouTubers are everywhere. While they can indeed boost businesses to a new degree by exposing them to the masses, some of them can be considered annoying.

That at least happens in South Korea.

In the country where 'mukbang' originated, there are many restaurant owners who dislike having YouTubers as patrons. This is because a number of problematic incidents have happened in some restaurants in Korea, when YouTuber came to restaurants.

As a result, owners of restaurants in the country started banning YouTubers and online streamers from their restaurants, or at least forbidding them to stream when visiting.

No Tuber Zones
Credit: KUKMIN ILBO / Allkpop

Restaurant owners were reporting many incidents of fights happening.

Some of which were caused by restaurant patrons being included in the YouTuber/streamer broadcast when they don't want to be on the videos.

Additionally, these online personalities may set multiple equipment for better lighting, camera position, etc., to make videos much more appealing and professional. For viewers, this should make videos much more interesting. But for owners of restaurants, these activities can take up space, requiring them to move furniture, and even knock over some other goods in the restaurants.

These activities have also interfere with other patrons' abilities to eat and enjoy the atmosphere.

When the 'No Tuber Zone' signs are found, YouTubers and other online streaming personalities are hoped to not do what they usually do in restaurants. Or at least, they are expected to be come as normal patrons rather than their online personalities.

For a long time, YouTube has been the place where interesting things happen and shared.

One of the many, is videos showing people eating.

Using audiovisual presentation, the host would eat food while interacting with their audience. While some YouTuber eat to review restaurants and get endorsements, others do 'mukbang' by eating a huge meal, in one sitting.

Videos like these stimulate the basic instincts of humans, and eating gives that similar sensation.

When viewing people eating a meal, viewers can experience that "tingle" where they will feel hungry in an almost hypnotic way. To some others, it allows them to fantasize the food as if they are eating it, or curb hunger or even relieve stress.

Millions of people tune in to watch their favorite hosts eat, and this fact has become a cultural phenomenon. Many of these internet personalities earn thousands of dollars and beyond from ads, donations, endorsements, e-book and product reviews, per month.

But it seems that not everyone is happy with their presence.

No Tuber Zones
Credit: KUKMIN ILBO / Allkpop

In Korean society, eating goes beyond mere survival, and is more closely related to life and culture.

Korea has formed a food culture based on traditional health discussions and strict etiquette. But with the internet and streaming media, the dominant food culture in Korea and the internet eating culture started altering the traditional identity.

The first attempt to limit these online personalities in restaurants started back in July 2018.

At that time, the South Korean government through The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that it would create and regulate mukbang guidelines by launching the "National Obesity Management Comprehensive Measures".

It was to establish guidelines for mukbang because it could cause binge eating and harm the public health.

This attempt was met with criticisms, with people saying that "there is no correlation between mukbang and binge eating" and "the government is infringing on individual freedom."