Mom Outraged After Restaurant Added $50 ‘Bad Parent’ Surcharge

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After a dining experience at a restaurant in Georgia left a couple in shock, the outraged mom was prompted to share their story with the world. The eatery allegedly added a $50 “Bad Parent” surcharge, sparking debate.

Lyndsey Landmann was left outraged after visiting Toccoa River Restaurant in Blue Ridge, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Google Maps)

Kyle and Lyndsey Landmann, a Florida couple, visited Toccoa River Restaurant while in Blue Ridge, Georgia, but rather than a relaxing experience at the waterfront establishment, the couple was greeted by a controversial policy from the moment they opened the menu. Initially, the Landmanns, who were dining at the restaurant with their sons and four other families, thought it was a joke, but they learned the hard way that Toccoa River Restaurant was serious.

With 11 children—ranging in age from 3 to 8 years old—at their table, Lyndsey took notice of a warning on the eatery’s menu regarding etiquette at the restaurant. “Adult surcharge: For adults unable to parent $$$,” it read, but the mom simply thought it was a joke. “I remember thinking, ‘No way is this real,'” the 36-year-old mother told Today. However, she’d soon discover the restaurant meant every word when, at the end of the meal, all parties were slapped with a $50 surcharge.

When Lyndsey Landmann saw the warning on the menu, she thought it was a joke. (Photo Credit: Toccoa Riverside Restaurant menu)

According to the Landmanns, regardless of how they felt about the restaurant’s controversial policy, they didn’t deserve the charge because they claimed the children were well-behaved at the restaurant. “The kids were sitting at one end of the table, and they were being so good,” Lyndsey alleged. “I even commented halfway through the meal, ‘I can’t believe how well-behaved they are.'” So, you can imagine her surprise when Tim Richter, the restaurant owner, approached the table after dessert while some of the parents took their children down to the water.

“He has the menu in hand, and he’s showing us where it talks about the fee,” Lyndsey recalled. “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.'” But that wasn’t the case. Instead, Richter was there to inform them that there would be a $50 charge per bill. When Lyndsey asked for an explanation, she said Richter claimed the kids were “too loud” and said he was angry that the kids were “running around outside,” even though they were supervised by adults.

Lyndsey Landmann
Lyndsey and Kyle Landmann snapped a photo with friends outside the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant in Blue Ridge, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Lyndsey Landmann via Today)

This didn’t sit well with Lyndsey, who alleged that Richter was wrong in his assessment of the children’s behavior. “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,” she recalled, according to People. “I looked around the restaurant, and everybody was frozen watching this show he was putting on. He was yelling,” the outraged mom added, saying, “It was alarming.”

After the experience, Kyle Landmann gave the establishment a one-star review on Google. According to Today, he was not the first parent to do so. “My wife was rocking the baby (not crying, just to make him sleep) and this ‘manager’ told her that you don’t do that in a fancy restaurant,” one critic wrote, in part. However, there were also plenty of people who made it clear that they supported the restaurant’s “unruly kids” policy after it went viral on Reddit, where a photo of the restaurant’s parenting fee sparked an intense online debate.

Lyndsey Landmann claims her kids were well-behaved at the restaurant and that the charge was unwarranted. (Photo credit: Courtesy Lyndsey Landmann via Today)
Lyndsey Landmann
The restaurant’s “unruly kids” policy went viral on Reddit, where a photo of the restaurant’s parenting fee sparked a debate. (Photo Credit: Reddit)

“I’ve been out to eat more than once where parents were literally letting their kids wild. Not sure if this is the answer, but something definitely should be done about such parents,” one person commented, while another added, “Good, more places need something like this. Parents who bring their kids into a restaurant… letting them do whatever they want is annoying as hell.” Of course, others claimed they wouldn’t dine at an establishment with such a policy, and maybe that’s best because it doesn’t appear the restaurant is going to budge.

“We’re not going to comment on a policy we’ve had for years. We just want to live in the woods and cook,” an employee of Toccoa Riverside Restaurant responded when contacted by phone for comment after the controversial policy caused a backlash. As a business, the restaurant can decide whether to be family-friendly or not so much. It’s not a requirement that every eatery must welcome children, and without being there, we don’t know how these kids acted.

Lyndsey Landmann
Kyle and Lyndsey Landmann with their children (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Whether a child’s public behavior is “good” or “bad” is subjective. While they may have been “great” by the Landmanns’ expectations, it’s hard to fathom that 11 children, aged 3 to 8, didn’t get “loud” when “sitting at one end of the table.” However, I believe that the restaurant should state the amount of the surcharge in the warning on their menu. Perhaps if a dollar amount were listed, Lyndsey Landmann wouldn’t have thought it was a “joke” and would have taken it more seriously. Offering a verbal warning before the fee was charged would have been nice, too.

That said, it’s my humble opinion that many parents with young children have become increasingly entitled, believing that their precious little ones should be welcomed anywhere and everywhere they wish to go. That’s simply not the case. Some places aren’t appropriate for young kids, and a restaurant with an “unfriendly” policy about “unruly” children is likely one of them. So, choose a family-friendly option instead, not a restaurant that makes it clear that children aren’t truly welcome. Of course, the restaurant could simply say, “No kids allowed,” but that wouldn’t make some parents very happy either.