Earlier this month, a North Queensland, Australia restaurant banned children under seven years old after a mother became particularly hostile towards the owner after she was asked to take her disruptive child outside.
“If one pays money for having an enjoyable lunch during an anniversary or honeymoon, please do yourself and other patrons a favour by getting a babysitter or by removing the screaming baby from the room,” wrote Flynn’s manager Sonia Tymecka on the restaurant’s Facebook page shortly after the incident. “Those are basic social skills and we do not feel that we should be teaching parents how to handle their children.”
Understandably, social media surrounding the announcement turned into a polarized frenzy. The response was overwhelmingly supportive – including a mother who wrote an op-ed that begged other restaurants to follow suit – but an outspoken minority also called for a boycott of the restaurant.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from calls to boycott on social media, it’s that they often end up triggering the opposite.
Last weekend was the most successful in the restaurant’s 14-year history, an achievement chef Liam Flynn attributes to the anti-child policy.
“Business is booming. We just had record Friday and Saturday nights. People are spending up large, drinking fine wine and spending up big,” he says. “There are a lot of parents out there who understand where we’re coming from.”
Five-star Yelp reviews for Flynn’s have also spiked, with many diners enthusiastic about dining in a children-free establishment.
Dogs, meanwhile, continue to be welcome – which essentially implies people are more inclined to teach disciplined behaviour to their pets than their kids.