A Georgia restaurant has found itself at the center of a viral controversy after a couple complained about being hit with a $50 surcharge at the establishment for their children’s alleged “loud” behavior.
A Reddit post showing Toccoa Riverside Restaurant’s posted rules blew up last week, with thousands of commenters stunned at the strict gratuity requirements.
On the Blue Ridge eatery’s menus, it says that customers will be charged an extra 20 percent for parties over six people, parties that ask for separate checks, and parties that order from the birthday menu. There is also a $3 surcharge listed for sharing food and a disclaimer that the menu’s prices are for cash payments only and that card payments will get an extra 3.5 percent charge.
With all of those extra requirements, one, in particular, stood out to some people: “Adult surcharge: For adults unable to parent $$$.”
“I remember thinking, ‘No way is this real,'” restaurant guest Lyndsey Landmann told TODAY.
According to the outlet, Landmann and her husband, Kyle, visited the establishment earlier this month with four other families, including 11 children in total ranging from three to eight years old.
“The kids were sitting at one end of the table and they were being so good,” Landmann claimed. “I even commented halfway through the meal, ‘I can’t believe how well-behaved they are.’”
After dessert, some of the parents took their children down to the water near the restaurant, Landmann recounted. That’s when Toccoa’s owner, Tim Richter, approached their table to allegedly berate the adults for their parenting skills.
“He has the menu in hand and he’s showing us where it talks about the fee,” Landmann recalls. “At first I thought he was gonna compliment us and be like, ‘But you won’t be charged because your kids were so well-behaved.’”
However, Richter informed them of an extra $50 charge and apparently yelled at them.
When asked for an explanation, Richter said the kids were being “too loud,” Landmann claimed. According to the disgruntled parent, he was angry that the children were “running around outside,” even though they were chaperoned by adults.
“I was like, ‘They were quiet the whole time.’ He got in our faces and told us that we belonged at Burger King and not at his restaurant. We asked to speak to the owner and he said he was the owner,” Landmann explained.
“I looked around the restaurant and everybody was frozen watching this show he was putting on. He was yelling,” she added.
The couple were left stunned and left “disappointed by the experience,” Kyle wrote in an online review.
“The owner came out and told me he was adding $50 to my bill because of my children’s behavior,” the Google review, obtained by the Daily Mail, said. “My kids watched a tablet until the food arrived, ate their food and my wife took them outside while I waited and paid the bill.”
In a statement to Channel 2 News, Richter said he implemented the surcharge once the coronavirus pandemic hit and claimed that he never threatened to charge anyone until a couple of weeks ago when that group’s children were “running all over the restaurant.”
He claimed that he never actually charged the family but merely gave them a warning, saying, “We want parents to be parents.”
However, more Google reviews obtained by the Daily Mail seem to back up the couple’s points.
“We were three adults, two children and our 4mo baby and since we entered to the place they gave us a bad look,” one reviewer wrote. “Later my wife was rocking the baby (not crying, just to make him sleep) and this “manager” told her that you don’t do that in a fancy restaurant (of course this is not a fancy restaurant) and later moved our stroller in a bad way.”