A North Georgia restaurant, the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant, has sparked controversy by allegedly blaming parents for their children’s unruly behavior. The restaurant, located just outside of Blue Ridge, has left the internet divided over the ethics of imposing such a “parental fine.”
“The owner told me he was adding $50 to my bill due to my kids’ behavior,” one unhappy customer shared on Reddit.
The restaurant side of the story
Asked for comment, restaurant owner Tim Richter clarified the situation. He said while the establishment did impose a surcharge during the COVID-19 pandemic to cover additional costs, it never fined a guest for their children’s behavior. He mentioned one incident in which a family brought nine children who had been particularly disruptive, but noted they were only given a warning.
“We want parents to be parents,” Richter emphasized.
Customers had varied opinions on the policy. Visitor Laura Spillman was incredulous. “It’s crazy. Kids are cute; you shouldn’t charge for that,” she said. On the other end of the spectrum, Anne Cox believes a possible tariff could be an effective way to remind kids parents their responsibilities.
“Parents must teach children etiquette. They need to understand that there are other people in the world,” Cox said.
Federico Gambineri, who was dining at the restaurant with his child, found the policy troubling. “If I was charged, I would be unhappy and probably wouldn’t recommend this place,” he noted. Regular customer Jack Schneider had a nuanced opinion: “We’ve all been around tables where we thought, ‘Do something for this kid.’ But ultimately, the decision is up to the parents.
The restaurant, located amidst the tranquil setting of the Toccoa River and mountains, is accustomed to a more serene clientele. During rush hour, cars line up along the road, indicating the popularity of the restaurant. However, this incident has made customers reconsider what acceptable behavior is in a public dining space.
“It’s not just a restoration policy; it’s a societal question about what we consider respectful behavior,” says Jack Schneider.
The debate over the fairness of financially penalizing parents for their children’s misbehavior at restaurants remains heated, sparking opinions from a variety of quarters. As it stands, Toccoa Riverside Restaurant’s so-called “parental fine” has served as a catalyst for a much broader debate about parental responsibility and public etiquette.