Legally, it is now clear for the first time that baked goods are prepared food. And also for the time being it is clear for the time being that bakeries may sell bread rolls, pretzels as well as cakes and bread on Sundays and public holidays for more than three hours. This is from a decision published on Thursday by the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Munich (Az: 6 U
2188/18), with the so-called "Semmelstreit" initially changes. The judges found that longer opening hours of bakeries – notably in this case only for Bavaria – do not violate the provisions of the Landschlussgesetz (LadSchlG).
But the dispute over how long bakers may have opened on Sundays is not only of interest to Bavaria – it affects all of Germany, except perhaps Berlin, where bakeries may have been open for nine hours on Sundays and public holidays anyway.
But in turn: Basically, the shop opening hours in the shop closing law are regulated. However, the concrete design is subject to the federal states. The problem for bakeries is depending on the state of different regulations for the sale of certain goods. And this also affects baked goods. So it happens that in Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bremen and Lower Saxony bakeries may have opened on Sundays and public holidays only three hours. In North Rhine-Westphalia or Hamburg, however, five and in Berlin just nine.
In order to avoid the sometimes restrictive regulations, numerous bake houses therefore use a legal trick: they place chairs and tables in their shop, sometimes offer other dishes and describe themselves as bistro cafés or bakery cafés the respective regulations but the restaurant law, which generally provides longer opening hours. For restaurants namely that here prepared food (read: cooked or otherwise prepared on the spot food, which is just not just a delivered and not further processed finished goods) are sold. And because many restaurants, of course, have guests especially on Sundays and public holidays, they may also have opened longer on these days. Also, according to the restaurant law for the immediate consumption of imaginary food over the periods of rest
Be sold out to take away.
Auditing admitted to the Federal Court of Justice
Actually, it could have been so easy. Bakeries mutate into small cafés and the restrictive opening hours for toothless paper tigers. Would not it be the center for combating unfair competition? Absolutely clear: Not every bakery has a store size that allows seating to be set up – and especially larger bakery chains have an advantage over smaller competitors. It did not take long for anger to stir, for example, and the central office for combating unfair competition was suing a larger Munich bakery chain. The contest office had previously secured evidence in Sunday and holiday test purchases and found that the chain stores were open for more than three hours. The lawsuit sparked the so-called "bread-and-butter dispute", which so far went through two instances.
The judges of the Higher Regional Court of Munich now consider it proven that, irrespective of the proportion of seats in the total store area, the exception of the restaurant law applies to opening hours. For their arguments, the judges also dealt with the question of what a prepared food is and whether, for example, a dry pretzel is to be understood as such. The unsurprising result of the judicial review: yes. Because bakery products are about
"Ready-to-eat foods, their raw materials through the baking process
Unfortunately, this is not yet conclusive: Due to its importance for bakeries throughout the Federal Republic of Germany, the Higher Regional Court of Munich has expressly approved the revision of the Federal Supreme Court, which is the only place to pass a high court decision on these issues ,
With material from dpa