Liam Flynn, the owner of Flynn’s restaurant, decided to ban all children under seven years old from his establishment.
Flynn made the decision after an incident on a Sunday. A two-year-old child started crying and screaming during lunch. Flynn came outside the kitchen after 10 minutes and tried to intervene, telling the parents “would you mind quietening your child down please” and suggesting they take him outside, according to Business Insider.
They did not, and the child kept screaming. When Flynn came back out a few minutes later, the parents, angered by Flynn, said they were leaving. The chef then engaged in a debate with the parents before the mom emerged from the restroom and told him to “[expletive] off.”
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She later posted on Tripadvisor that her child was “not misbehaving or wreaking havoc.”
Flynn soon decided on the ban before it on Facebook. “If one pays money for having an enjoyable lunch during an anniversary or honeymoon, please do yourself and other patrons a favor by getting a babysitter or by removing the screaming baby from the room,” he said.
“It is purely out of respect for other diners, regardless whether they are two or twenty of them in the restaurant. Those are basic social skills and we do not feel that we should be teaching parents how to handle their children,” he stated.
Flynn’s restaurant page was bombarded with comments, both negative and positive, but the biggest feedback came the next weekend when they made the most money ever in one weekend.
“It’s been good for business,” the restauranteur told Business Insider of his Queensland, Australia business. “Business is booming. We just had record Friday and Saturday nights. People are spending up large, drinking fine wine and spending up big.”
“It’s obviously touched a nerve and obviously a polarizing 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 added. “There are a lot of parents out there who understand where we’re coming from,” he continued.
Australia’s Anti-Discrimination Commission later warned businesses against the policy about banning young children, the Cairns Post reported. “A person who is refused service because they are accompanied by a child has the right to lodge a complaint to the ADCQ,’’ a spokesperson for the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland said.
But Flynn said he got even more reservations after the new policy was announced.
“We did have two couples who came in, in support of the new policy, and we’ve had a hell of a lot of people saying next time they’re up here, if they ever get here, they’ll make a point of visiting my restaurant,” he said.
Flynn said he also got congratulations for speaking out about political correctness.
“I think it will set a precedent for other restaurants because there are a lot more people who are affected by this,” he said. “It just takes one person to speak out about a problem that’s on a lot of people’s minds, and then others may think their main customers aren’t mums with kids and do the same thing.”
Australian Culinary Federation Far North Queensland president Brian Down told the Post that other restaurants have considered it.
“We have many restaurants which are kid-friendly, such as Sizzler and those family-style restaurants, and I think possibly patrons would be looking to dine somewhere where they don’t need to be surrounded by screaming, misbehaving kids,’’ he said. “I think it’s a great idea.”
Down added that a child ban is common in some European countries.
“I think it’s fair enough. A lot of parents do have badly misbehaving children,’’ he stated.
Meanwhile, according to Business Insider, TripAdvisor said there are a few 1-out-of-5 stars, but most of the reviews are glowing.
“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,” reads one.