Customers at the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant in North Georgia have accused the establishment of charging their children’s parents for being disruptive.
The eatery, located outside of Blue Ridge, has sparked debate online about the morality of enforcing a ‘parenting fine.’
“The owner told me he was adding $50 to my bill due to my children’s behavior,” shared an unhappy customer on Reddit.
Restaurant’s Side of the Story
Restaurant owner Tim Richter elaborated when he was asked for feedback.
He said that the business had never punished a customer for their children’s behavior, despite having implemented a levy to cover extra costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He described an example in which a family brought nine children, all of whom were extremely noisy, but the adults were just warned.
“We want parents to be parents,” Richter emphasized.
Public Reactions: A Mixed Bag
The policy was met with mixed reviews from customers.
The guest, Laura Spillman, could not believe it. “That is crazy. Kids are cute; you shouldn’t charge for that,” she said.
Anne Cox, on the other hand, thought that the possibility of a fee was a good way to get parents’ attention and remind them of their duties.
“Parents need to teach kids etiquette. They need to understand that there are other people in the world,” Cox said.
The establishment’s policy alarmed Federico Gambineri, who was there with his young child.
“If I were charged, I would be unhappy and probably not recommend the place,” he noted. Regular patron Jack Schneider had a nuanced take: “We’ve all been near tables where we think, ‘Do something about that kid.’ But ultimately, it’s on the parents.”
Consequences and Considerations
The restaurant, nestled amidst the beautiful setting of the Toccoa River and mountains, is accustomed to a more serene population.
Cars queue up along the roadside outside the restaurant during peak dining times.
This episode, however, has caused customers to reevaluate their expectations of conduct in restaurants.
“It’s not just a restaurant policy; it’s a societal question about what we consider respectful behavior,” says Jack Schneider.
Opinions from all areas of life continue to be voiced on the topic of whether or not it is fair to financially punish parents for their children’s wrongdoing while dining out.
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As it stands, the supposed ‘parenting fine’ at Toccoa Riverside Restaurant has sparked a far broader conversation about parental duty and social graces.
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