North Georgia restaurant fines parents for ‘poor parenting’

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. — A popular restaurant in North Georgia is fed up with unruly children, so it’s charging a fee for poor parenting.

The Toccoa Riverside Restaurant outside Blue Ridge has sparked a backlash online from customers who consider the surcharge extreme.

One recent customer posted this on Reddit, “The owner came out and told me he was adding $50 to my bill because of my children’s behavior... disappointed by the experience.”

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Channel 2′s Bryan Mims traveled to Blue Ridge where he spoke with the restaurant owner, Tim Richter, who declined an on-camera interview.

Richter said he started the surcharge a few years ago during the COVID-19 outbreak.

He never threatened to charge anyone until a couple of weeks ago when a family with nine children visited.

He described the children as “running all over the restaurant.”

Richter said he never actually charged the family, only giving them a warning.

“We want parents to be parents,” he said.

The restaurant is in a picturesque locale tucked away in the mountains and perched along the Toccoa River.

During lunchtime and dinner, a long line of cars stretches along the roadside.

Customer Laura Spillman, visiting from Florida, was incredulous when hearing about the policy.

“That is crazy,” she said. “For real? I don’t think you should do it because kids are cute.”

Anne Cox, stopping by for lunch with her family, said she thinks the fee could motivate parents to control their children.


“Parents need to teach kids etiquette,” she said. “They need to teach kids to behave. There are other people in the world, so they should have fun in the right place.”

Federico Gambineri came to the restaurant with his toddler.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of that, and having a 20-month-old that maybe isn’t the best behaved at a restaurant, I’m hoping that I don’t get charged,” he said. “I feel that if I were charged, I would be very unhappy about it and probably never recommend the place to somebody.”

Jack Schneider is a regular at the restaurant but has never heard about the surcharge.

“I have mixed emotions on that,” he said. “At the same time, we’ve all sat next to tables where you say hey, do something with that kid. So I really think it’s more on the parents.”

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]


Comments on this article