253 – Banning kids had some unexpected consequences for this restaurant owner.

253 – Banning kids had some unexpected consequences for this restaurant owner.

The chef owner of a restaurant in FNQ has banned children under 7 following an altercation involving a family with a young child who was screaming.

Liam Flynn of Flynn’s Restaurant says he was then engaged in a debate with the father as the bill was settled when the mother emerged from the restrooms and told him to “f*** off”. Gold!

The mother took to Trip Advisor to review Flynn’s, saying “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! I don’t agree with any children running riot while people are dining at home or out. Our little one wasn’t misbehaving or wreaking havoc. On leaving without completing our meal, we complained about the manner in which we were treated. That caused a heated discussion”.

The consequences of Liam’s decision have been amazing … and all-in-all very positive. The story has gone viral, he’s been covered by media outlets across Australia, and bookings have increased by multiples.

In today’s marketing podcast, join me for a fireside chat with Liam, plus I seek my two sons’ opinion on this controversial topic.




00:40  Welcome & overview
02:11  Motivational marketing quote of the week #1
02:19  Time for a check-in on the week
05:41  Insights in to the Key Person Of Interest Business Accelerator
06:55  I chat with my two sons about today’s guest
10:47  Interview with Liam Flynn
28:51  My top 3 marketing learnings fro my chat with Liam
30:04  Motivational marketing quote of the week #2
38:30  Wrap-up and insights in to next week’s guest




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Flynn’s Restaurant’s website

Flynn’s Restaurant on Facebook

My blog post about How to get past the gatekeeper

My blog post about the Top 10 Best 404 Error Pages

Rocking The Boat Tour – Learn all about outsourcing to The Philippines








  1. Stand up for something you believe in – no matter what others say.
  2. “What can you sacrifice now in order to reward yourself in the future?” Practice a little delayed gratification. I love the fact that Liam takes 4.5 months off each year.
  3. Take a bloody holiday! Can you afford not to?





“Goals are just dreams with deadline”


“If it’s in stock, we have it!”

A very clever retailer 😉



What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-hahahha moment from this episode?

Leave your comment below.

My guest and I respond to each and every comment.


16 thoughts on “253 – Banning kids had some unexpected consequences for this restaurant owner.”

  1. ok, first off, I think banning kids is perfectly fine, he is not the first restaurant to do it and he won’t be the last to do it.

    I like how he went out and got more publicity about it, although I don’t think he is really making the most of all the extra publicity. But then he is from far north queensland, they are a little different to us down here. If I was in his shoes there would be no way I would be closing for 4 1/2 months and I would be putting extra staff on not closing on a Sunday, but then again, if he is happy with his lifestyle then good on him.

    I don’t like that he deleted people’s post on social media, yes if there is bullying or foul language you can maybe delete a post, but other than that you should leave everything up as it is and simply respond to the person, or if they are being a troll then just ignore them.

  2. Hi Tim, I wanted to get the KPI audio book but it only gives me the option for hardcover. I listen to your podcast in the bus to and from work and have gotten so much from them. Thank you. Shah

  3. Hi Tim,
    This episode annoyed me – as a parent, I KNOW first had how annoying children can be. I GET IT!
    I can also appreciate how he went about his marketing and to look at this from that point of view.
    However, I’m not sure this tactic (refusing to allow a whole segment of the community) would work in a bigger city, or a crowded market (a strip of restaurants) and as he had his restaurant in a small town (& is most likely the only posh restaurant in the area?!?)
    I love your questioning style & I love how you are honest and you get to the guts of an interview.
    Thanks again for the injection of inspiration into my Tuesday!

  4. LOVE IT!!!

    Stand out. Be different. Don’t be all things to all people. If you please everyone, you will please NO ONE!

    Great thing about running a business is that WE get to make the rules…or at least a lot of them. I am a parent of an 11 and a 13 year old, and I HATE it when I go out for a nice night out with my wife, just to get sat next to a bunch of kids…I could have brought mine! There are PLENTY of places parents can go with their kids, but nowhere to get away from them…until now. I hope this catches on all over the place and we can have some great options to go without kids.

    On a side note, I wish there were more places with a dress code too. I get all dressed up just to sit next to a guy in his running outfit. Ugh!

    Marketing take-aways are obvious with this one. Don’t follow the crowd or listen to the neigh-sayers.

  5. Hi Tim, well done for getting such a controversial figure in your podcast. Also well done by not asking whether or not he has kids, I am very certain that his personal life would not be the most appealing.

    Just working off your marketing tip on speaking out my mind now:

    1. I think this business is in a terrible position in terms of branding, what Liam has done may gain marketing hype, but this won’t be a lasting one.

    2. I am a big believer of how much you gain in business relies on how much value you bring to customers. Good food is one value, but true value of eating out in a fine dining restaurant is the quality time spent with your significant ones. By demonstrating this kind of attitudes to customers speaks a lot about the integrity of this business, and as Liam has said, this is not the first time he has had this kind of episode, that explains a lot.

    3. I have very little respect for business owners who pride themselves in trading time for money. There is no security around this. The 4 months holidays won’t last as Liam ages and continues to fulfil 2 people’s role. He has done a great job in buying himself a highly paid day job but this is not a business.

    4. Having specific target audience is awesome for businesses, in fact the niches you are the better. But you don’t accidentally grow into the filtering process by negative incidence like this. There is no strategic value behind this at all.

  6. Tracy Hooper

    Tim, your questions are always right on.

    Thanks for bringing us another episode that continues to make us think about all different ways to market our small businesses. I think it is great that this fellow banned young children at his elegant restaurant. There are plenty of family-style restaurants.

  7. I think its a great idea. As a mum of two, I would prefer to know where we are not welcome. I know whenever we do go out to a restaurant, where would be appropriate for the children is always a consideration. It is also great for infertile couples who don’t want to be confronted with children all the time. I’m not surprised that bookings have increased.

  8. You make some great points, Alex. Many hard to rebut. I guess the proof will be in the pudding (excuse the cooking pun ;0) … I’ve made a not to revisit him in 12-18 months time.

  9. I agree, Nick. And boy, are there plenty of nay-sayers. No wonder more business owners don’t stick their head above the trench. The verbal bullets come flying thick and fast, and quickly! Oh, BTW, I’m the guy sitting next to you in the running gear ;0)

  10. Thanks Alison for your honest feedback. As you probs heard, I agree with what Liam has done. The way in which he went about could have been better, but I have no problem with him or any other business niching themselves down. It’s brave and clever. Thanks for your feedback on my interviewing style – it means a lot 🙂

  11. Thanks for the feedback, Sarah. Re the audio version, email Mike at KPI and he’ll email you a link – mike(at)keypersonofinfluence(dot)com(dot)au

  12. Thanks Tracy. I hope I wasn’t too ‘A Current Affair’ on him! But more and more I am getting comfortable with asking the harder questions.

  13. Danny Thompson

    Great episode Timbo! Oh yes, I’m still around haha…
    It rings so true ..You can’t be all things to all people. I run into this all the time at the Music School. You have to be true to what you want your business to be and stick to it..Keep up the great work

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