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Scattered, covered and topped with a 'security' fee

  • Waffle House restaurant in downtown Atlanta tacks on 20% surcharge to pay for private security
  • Wait staff says additional fee has caused problems with tips
Waffle House restaurant

Your bacon, eggs and toast will cost a little extra if you head to a certain downtown Atlanta, Georgia, restaurant.

The Waffle House at Underground Atlanta is adding a 20% surcharge to customers’ bills to pay for an off-duty police officer to guard the 24-hour restaurant.

Signs are posted throughout the restaurant, letting customers know about the “property management surcharge.” Plus, customers are told about the extra fee before they order.

In a statement to HLN affiliate WGCL Atlanta, Waffle House Vice President Pat Warner said, “We want to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. In an effort to be proactive we are being upfront and adding a 20% surcharge to help offset the cost of private security.”

For example, if your food bill comes to $10, you’ll be charged an additional $2 -- and that’s not even counting the tip to the wait staff.

One waitress told the station that the additional fee has caused customers to leave smaller or no tips.

“I’ve been cussed at,” waitress Quintonia Colbert said. “I’ve had people walk out on me,” she told WGCL.

Other Waffle House restaurants have hired security guards, but the downtown Atlanta location is the only one of the company’s 2,600 restaurants that is charging the additional fee, according to the station.

So tell us what you think? Should customers have to pay for security at a restaurant? Would you be willing to leave a tip for good service? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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