Restaurants and children don't always mix well. Many of the former pride themselves as places of conversation, hospitality, and the crossing of seemingly insurmountable borders over really good burrata. The latter have miniscule attention spans and underdeveloped control of bodily fluids and/or indoor voices.
Despite this, almost all of us will have tried to enjoy a meal out over the wails of a five-year-old on the next table, knowing that losing your shit at a small person in public is a one way ticket to being branded an Evil Psycho Who Shouldn't Be Allowed Out.
Despite this, an Australian restaurant owner's mission to separate children and restaurants has had surprisingly successful results.
Flynn's in the small Australian town of Yungaburra, Queensland made headlines earlier this month when chef and owner Liam Flynn banned children under the age of seven from his establishment.
The move came after an altercation between Flynn and the parents of a "screaming" and "temperamental" 2-year-old eating at the restaurant (hey, we've all had brunches like that). Flynn suggested to the parents that they quieten their child by taking him outside. This didn't go down too well and the family chose to leave soon after, prompting a debate that ended with the mother telling Flynn to "fuck off."
Parenting is such a joy.
Not long after, Flynn took to his restaurant's Facebook page to announce that he would be banning children under seven, citing "feedback from our diners regarding screaming babies" that had been "nothing but wholly negative" as the justification for the new policy. He also suggested that parents do themselves "a favour" by "getting a babysitter or by removing the screaming baby from the room."
The post soon made the social media rounds, with commenters praising Flynn's forthright stand for anyone who would quite like to get their morning coffee without having to endure a trendy dad on a mini scooter and his extra frothy babyccino-drinking 4-year-old.
Others didn't see Flynn's exclusion of young diners so favourably and many pointed out the hypocrisy of the no-under-sevens policy when his restaurant happily welcomes dogs of all ages.
To which I say, think about that time you took your small cousin swimming and they urinated in the baby pool. Now think about Homeward Bound and how much joy Marnie The Dog's Instagram feed brings to your day-to-day existence. I know which species I'd prefer as my dining partner.
The debate surrounding the place of children restaurants isn't confined to small Queensland towns. Earlier this month, the owner of a Maine diner found herself in a similar predicament to Flynn, after she confronted the parents of a crying two-year-old and discussion over the extent to which chefs should cater for diners' Little Darlings was ignited this week, when new research showed that 59 percent of British parents see children's options at restaurants as "dull."
But it seems Flynn may be onto something with the dogs > children stance, as his restaurant just posted its best weekend trade in the 14 years it has been open.
Speaking to Business Insider, Flynn said that banning children has been "good for business" as "people are spending up large, drinking fine wine, and spending up big."
"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.
A glance at Flynn's recent Tripadvisor reviews gives backing to these scenes of ballin' parents, finally cut loose from the shackles of trough bibs and chicken-nugget-airplanes. One commenter on the review site noted the "delicious food, good service & no children screaming for 20 straight minutes" while another simply wrote: "No babies, great! My dog welcome, Great !!!!"
You can't argue with the child-free ecstasy of those exclamation marks.