lifestyle

I'm a mum - and I agree with banning kids from restaurants.

Because sometimes mums just want to eat out… without kids. That includes your kids.

‘Dining in’ isn’t an opportunity many mothers enjoy very often.

And so I believe they have every right to do it in as much peace as possible.

Without kids. Any kids.

With three children under five, most of my restaurant experiences involve eating nuggets of chicken from a paper box as we fly down the freeway on a family holiday or spending a whopping forty minutes at the local Italian joint where I spend my evening picking pineapple, ham or even onion off someone’s meal. If I’m lucky, there will be no tantrums. IF.

So it comes as no surprise to me that Flynn’s restaurant in North Queensland has banned the babes. No child under seven is welcome to the restaurant after the owner, a self-proclaimed European, Liam Flynn was forced to defend himself following a poor review left by an angry mother on TripAdvisor.

The reviewers’s two-year-old was crying in their high chair. She wrote “the owner asked us to keep the noise down quite rudely. Within a few minutes he returned and asked us to take ‘the child’ out of the restaurant.”

Hallelujah.

Inside Flynn’s restaurant: A Child-Free Zone. Image via Facebook.

Let me set the scene for you. Because I’ve been in this mother’s shoes: the restaurant smells good, the table is set, the mother knows she won’t need to wash any of the plates from which she’s about the eat, the joy and relief is palpable. Someone fills the mother’s glass, she opens a menu looks at descriptions like ‘fine ribbons of fresh pasta served with …’ and then the aforementioned two-year-old loses it. But it was all going so well!? The mother panics. The child panics. The waiter panics. From here, it’s a slippery slope to a river of tears and snot-filled tissues. Not just from the child.

And it’s from this moment, most mothers create a self-imposed ban. Never. Again.

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I have banned my kids from all-non-family-friendly-areas. Restaurants, shops, cafes, churches, tourist attractions, art galleries. That’s not to say we don’t visit any. But you certainly won’t find us at Aria on a Saturday night. Nor will you find us at any posh galleries checking out an art collector’s private Arthur Boyd collection.

A look at Flynn’s menu on their website says you won’t get out of there without paying $30 for a piece of steak or fish. Their average glass of wine is $11. If you have a side and share a dessert, you won’t leave there without coughing up at least $60 a head.

They were recently awarded Best European Restaurant in North Queensland. Image via Facebook.

Hell, the owner is doing parents a favour. A. Favour.

Not only is he saving you money, he’s saving your sanity.

When you and I sit down at a restaurant, we see an entirely different array of opportunities to a child.

We think: Fried rice! Delicious. They think: Peas! I can put them up my nose.

We think: A refreshing drink! Delightful. They think: Let’s blow bubbles …

We think: What a lovely table setting … They think: I shall use this cutlery to make music.

There is very little common ground. It’s breeding ground for tantrums. Restaurants to families are what daycare centres are to hand-foot-and-mouth-disease. A dangerous, hotbed of unpredictability that could strike your family at any moment. And you never know when it’s going to hit.

Ban that.

The restaurant’s owners posted a response about the incident on their Facebook page. Image via Facebook.

As a reformed nice-restaurant-goer, my advice is to spare the money on that posh ‘rocket and pear side-salad’, that second glass of wine and a cab and get yourself a babysitter.

But not for the sake of everyone else in the restaurant, do it for yourself.

Want more posts like this? Try these:

The 10 things that will definitely happen if you take your kids to a restaurant.

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A customer in a café complained about a breastfeeding mother. What the café did will have you crying bravo!

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