Three weeks ago chef Liam Flynn, owner of Flynn’s restaurant in Far North Queensland, had a run-in with a customer who told him to “f**k off” when he asked she take her crying two-year-old child outside until he calmed down.
That evening, he decided to ban children under seven from the restaurant and posted the details on Facebook.
His decision sparked a furious debate on social media, but it seems diners are as mad as hell and not going to take it any more when it comes to unruly children.
Flynn’s, a French and Italian restaurant, just posted its biggest ever weekend of trade after 14 years in business in the small country town of Yungaburra, on the Atherton Tablelands about an hour’s drive from Cairns.
The chef is delighted, despite copping it from some angry parents. On the whole, he says the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s been good for business,” Liam Flynn told Business Insider. “Business is booming. We just had record Friday and Saturday nights. People are spending up large, drinking fine wine and spending up big.”
Flynn confesses he was taken aback by the level of response he received, but he’s glad it triggered such a big debate about how children should behave in restaurants.
“It’s obviously touched a nerve and obviously a polarising subject. We’ve had mums and parents who feel that it’s just outright discrimination, but it’s mostly been positive. I’ve had a lot of support and we’ve had a lot of parents coming forward and ringing me and saying good on you,” he said.
“There are a lot of parents out there who understand where we’re coming from.”
The other unexpected side is Flynn’s become something of an agony aunt for people fed up with the way kids behave when dining out.
Looking at review sites such as TripAdvisor, you’ll see the occasional 1-out-of-5 stars reviews, but for the most part, they’re positive and along the lines of this 5-star post from last week:
“No babies, great! My dog welcome, Great !!!!”
Wonderful little café. I’m a fan of quiet cafe’s especially in the very quaint village of Yungaburra where I like to get away from my tourist town… So glad to see these owner’s welcome dogs as my little dog is very well behaved and I like to take her everywhere with me!! Thanks for a serene lunch and your new policy of no children under 7, look forward to coming again.
Yes, children under 7 are banned, but dogs are welcome.