Going to a restaurant can be a stressful experience for parents. Often, parents may struggle to control their children in public, making the restaurant an unpleasant experience for everyone present.
This couple experienced a similar situation and claims to have received a ‘fine’ for it. Read on to find out more.
A restaurant in northern Georgia did something unexpected: it charged its customers a fine for ‘bad parenting.’ Toccoa Riverside, located outside of Blue Ridge, sparked an online debate: is it fair to charge parents for misbehaving children?
On Reddit, a customer shared their restaurant experience, writing, ‘The owner came out and told me he was adding $50 to my bill because of my kids’ behavior… disappointed by the experience.’
A journalist contacted the restaurant and got their side of the story. The owner, Tim Richter, decided to tell the truth. He stated that, although the restaurant had added a surcharge during COVID-19 to cover costs, they had not charged anyone an amount exceeding their recent bill.
He stated that he had never threatened anyone with a surcharge until a few weeks ago when a family visited his restaurant with their nine children. He explained that the children were running around everywhere.
He said he did give a warning to the parents, but he never actually charged them any money!
‘We want parents to be parents,’ he simply stated. The restaurant, nestled in the mountains along the Toccoa River, is accustomed to a calm clientele. The establishment is very popular, and during meal times, cars line up along the side of the road.
A customer named Laura Spillman, visiting from Florida, couldn’t believe the policy when she heard about it.
‘That’s crazy,’ she said incredulously. ‘For real? I don’t think you should do that because kids are cute.’
Anne Cox, who was having lunch with her family, mentioned that the fee could potentially encourage parents to control their children so that they behave better.
She said, ‘Parents need to teach children etiquette,’ adding, ‘They need to teach children how to behave. There are other people in the world, so they need to have fun in the right place.’
Federico Gambineri, who was at the restaurant with his toddler, stated that it was the first time he had heard of such a policy. ‘This is the first time I’ve heard about it, and since I have a 20-month-old who may not be the best-behaved in a restaurant, I hope they won’t charge me,’ he added. ‘I think if I were charged, I would be very unhappy, and I probably wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone.’
Jack Schneider, who is a regular at the restaurant, said he had never heard of this surcharge. ‘I have mixed feelings about it,’ Mr. Schneider said. ‘At the same time, we’ve all sat next to tables where we thought, “Hey, do something with that kid.” So I think it’s more the parents’ fault.’