Couple Claim Restaurant Owner Fines Them for ‘Poor Parenting’

Couple Claim Restaurant Owner Fines Them for ‘Poor Parenting’

We’ve all been in a public place like a restaurant where we had to awkwardly sit through the sounds of screaming children. Sometimes, it’s nobody’s fault, and in others, it just comes down to poor parenting. It may be a faux pas to speak up in these situations, but one restaurant has had enough. Recently the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant in north Georgia ‘fined’ one of its customers and added an additional ‘unable to parent’ fee to their bill. Of course, the internet has become enraged, with some for and some against the penalty.


The Real Story Behind The Poor Parenting Fine

The story had originally surfaced via a post on Reddit. They had claimed: “The owner came out and told me he was adding $50 to my bill because of my children’s behavior… disappointed by the experience.” A news outlet decided to verify the story and got in touch with the North Georgia restaurant. Tim Richter, the owner, however, told a different story. He claimed that there was an added surcharge during the time of the pandemic to cover expenses. However, there were no exceptional additions to the bill recently.

kids eat pizza and pasta at cafe. children eating unhealthy food indoors
Image for representational purposes only. Credit: Shutterstock

Tim further claimed he hadn’t threatened anyone with this kind of surcharge before, that is, before a family of 11 visited his restaurant, including 9 children. Tim claimed that the children were scampering around everywhere inside the venue. However, even then, Tim stated there was no mention of any fine, as he only warned the parents about the children’s behavior. He just added, “We want parents to be parents.

Is The Policy Really Required?

Tocoa Riverside, sitting inside the mountains right beside the Tocoa River in Georgia, does not usually have rowdy patrons. Their clientele is usually laid back and calm. As such, it is a pretty popular dining place. So much so that when meal times come around, one can see plenty of cars stretched along the roadside. The news outlet (Bryan Mims from Channel 2) also took the opportunity to hear from some of the patrons about this ‘poor parenting surcharge.’

Laura Spillman, a Floridian who was in the town for a trip, found the idea behind the police extremely hard to believe. She said, “This is crazy. For real? I don’t think you should do it because kids are cute.” Federico Gambineri was visiting the restaurant along with his toddler. He said that this was the first he heard of a policy like this. He explained: “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. I feel that if I were charged, I would be very unhappy about it and probably never recommend the place to somebody.

On the other hand, Anne Cox, a patron enjoying lunch in the company of her family, stated that the fees may push parents to better control their offspring. She added: “Parents need to teach kids to behave. There are other people in the world, so they should have fun in the right place.” One of the regulars, Jack Schneider, also never heard any mention of this surcharge earlier. However, he added: “I have mixed emotions on that. 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.


  1. North Georgia restaurant fines parents for ‘poor parenting’.” Yahoo. Bryan Mims. October 26, 2023.
  2. Couple says restaurant fined them for ‘poor parenting’ – the restaurant owner then reveals the truth.” Newsner. Rameeza Ahmad. October 26, 2023.

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