Home world #trending: In bad taste? US restaurant charges S$68 fee for 'adults who cannot parent'

#trending: In bad taste? US restaurant charges S$68 fee for 'adults who cannot parent'

#trending: In bad taste? US restaurant charges S$68 fee for 'adults who cannot parent'
A restaurant in Georgia, United States, went viral for imposing a US$50 (S$68) “adult surcharge” on diners who were unable to control their children’s behaviourThe restaurant’s policy sparked a debate on Reddit, where users criticised the hefty charges and the subjective nature of determining children’s bad behaviourDespite mixed reviews, some customers praised the restaurant’s kid-friendliness and good food, while others denounced the bad treatment of families with childrenA restaurant in Singapore was also in the spotlight last year for implementing a “screaming children surcharge”

By Lee Wenxin Published October 30, 2023 Updated October 30, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

GEORGIA, UNITED STATES — Remember the restaurant in Singapore that planned to impose a controversial “screaming children surcharge” on noisy children?

Turns out an eatery in the United States had a similar policy, charging a hefty US$50 (S$68) fee for “adults who cannot parent”.

Diners at the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant in Georgia were greeted with a warning on the menu of the restaurant: “Adult surcharge: For adults unable to parent $$$.”

A picture of the menu was posted on Reddit last Tuesday (Oct 24), igniting debate over the controversial move, receiving over 13,000 upvotes and 1,400 comments within a week.

Speaking to US news site Today.com, one diner Ms Lyndsey Landmann said she thought it was a joke at first.

However, Ms Landmann received a rude shock when she was asked to pay the “adult surcharge”.

She and her husband had visited the waterfront restaurant earlier in October with four other families and altogether, they have 11 children aged three to eight years. 

Ms Landmann, who had thought things were going swimmingly well with the children, said she even commented halfway through the meal: ‘I can’t believe how well-behaved they (the children) are.’”

After dessert, however, they were approached by the restaurant’s owner Tim Richter who informed the table that there would be an extra charge of US$50.

When pressed on the reason for the extra charge, Mr Richter said that the kids were being “too loud” and were “running around outside”, despite being chaperoned by adults.

Mr Richter then allegedly told the diners that they “belonged at Burger King and not at his restaurant” when Ms Landmann defended the children’s behaviour.

On Reddit, most users agreed that the extra charge would turn them away from dining at the establishment and that the amount was exorbitant.

Besides the “noisy children” surcharge, the restaurant also charges diners US$3 for sharing meals. It also imposes other extra charges for groups over six people, separate cheques, birthday menus and payment with credit cards. 

“If I read this at a restaurant I would probably leave,” said one user. 

“Charge for unruly kids and a ‘share charge US$3’, like, who cares if I wanna share my food once I pay for it?”

Other users pointed out that a child’s behaviour could be subjective and that the extra fees felt like a ploy to earn more profit.

“They don’t specify what bad behaviour is,” asked one user.

“Are you going to add money if my child is just sitting completely unmoving and not talking? Or are you only adding money if the kid is running around and trying to trip the waitress?”

Another user added: “From the laundry list of extra charges they have, this just seems like a restaurant that uses any excuse it can to gouge customers more.”