$50 charge for ‘poor parenting’: Restaurant threatens fee when kids don’t behave

Kids at restaurant.

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. — A restaurant in Georgia has stirred up controversy with a long-standing surcharge that calls into question some customers’ parenting skills.

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Toccoa Riverside Restaurant adds a $50 surcharge on the bills of families whose children don’t behave while at the establishment.

The restaurant’s owner, Tim Richter, told WSB that the charge is not new. It actually began during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A warning is posted at the bottom of the Toccoa’s menu that reads: “Adult surcharge: For adults unable to parent $$$,” the “Today” show reported.

The menu with the surcharge warning is posted on the restaurant’s website.

As pointed out on Reddit, where the surcharge went viral, there is no exact amount listed.

Richter said he never had to use it as a threat to control kids until recently when a family came in with children who he said were “running all over the restaurant,” he told WSB off-camera.

Lyndsey Landmann thought Richter was joking when he told her of the charge. Landmann, from Florida, was at the restaurant with her husband and four other families. In all, there were 11 children aged 3 to 8 years old.

“The kids were sitting at one end of the table and they were being so good,” Landmann told “Today.” “I even commented halfway through the meal, ‘I can’t believe how well-behaved they are.’”

After dessert, some of the adults took the kids to the river. That’s when Richter approached the table. She thought he was coming over to commend her on how well the children were behaving. Instead, she said he was going to charge $50 per bill at the table because, she said he told her they were being “too loud” and that the kids were “running around outside,” despite having adults with them.

Landmann said Richter was yelling, “It was alarming,” she told “Today.”

Landmann’s husband posted a review on Google about a week ago giving the restaurant a one-star review.

On Tripadvisor, Toccoa has a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars as of Friday afternoon, despite the viral posts. On Yelp it is 3 out of 5. Google has 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Richter told WSB he only gave a warning about the surcharge and never actually put the $50 on their bills.

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