Restaurant policy sparks debate—’Adult surcharge: For adults unable to parent $$$’

Should restaurants charge extra fees for “loud” children? It’s a question that has sparked a lot of debate over the years and it’s a popular discussion once more due to a recent debacle.

Today reports that a family dinner went awry when the parents received their bill and noticed an extra $50 charge on it. So, of course, they took their case to Reddit and now the story is making headlines.

Lyndsey Landmann spoke to Today and said that she and her husband Kyle visited the rural Georgia eatery, Toccoa Riverside Restaurant, with four other families. There were 11 children at the table ranging in age from 3 to 8 years old.

Landmann, 36, says, “The kids were sitting at one end of the table and they were being so good. I even commented halfway through the meal, ‘I can’t believe how well-behaved they are.’”

After their party had dessert, Landmann explains, some parents took their children closer to the water. Shortly after, the owner, Tim Richter, showed up to their table.

“He has the menu in hand and he’s showing us where it talks about the fee,” she explains. “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.’”

The menus at Toccoa Riverside Restaurant open up to a warning for patrons: “Adult surcharge: For adults unable to parent $$$.” But, it’s important to note that when the restaurant charges parents, there’s no specific distinction for “adults unable to parent.”

That’s when Richter complained the kids were being “loud” and, Landmann says, he was angry they were “running around outside.”

“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 tells Today. “I looked around the restaurant and everybody was frozen watching this show he was putting on. He was yelling.”

The Reddit post detailing their experience has gotten a lot of engagement and Redditors are on both sides of the argument. Here’s what they had to say:

Today was able to get a comment from an employee who said, “We’re not going to comment on a policy we’ve had for years. We just want to live in the woods and cook.”

Between these kinds of penalties and new airline policies specifying designated “child-free zones,” it’s really limiting where and how families can go together. And it also makes you wonder, what’s next?