Security costs diners extra at Waffle House in downtown Atlanta

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 2:26 PM
Last updated 8:16 PM
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ATLANTA — A Waffle House in downtown Atlanta has been charging customers 20 percent extra to serve their scattered, smothered and covered meals with a side order of hired security.

The 24-hour restaurant at Underground Atlanta started adding the surcharge – which essentially turns any $5 menu item into a $6 item – to all checks in December to pay for an off-duty police officer to provide security. Some customers are finding the fee a little tough to digest.

“I think the prices are high,” customer Cynthia Delaney said, adding that a breakfast sandwich and cup of grits at the downtown Waffle House ended up costing her $8. “But I would rather pay more if it means I am going to be safe.”

The 2009 opening of a Waffle House in the heart of downtown Atlanta, home to the restaurant chain’s corporate headquarters, was seen as a triumph. But it’s also a high-crime area that makes a security guard a must-have for any business keeping its doors open around the clock. There were 260 major felony crimes reported last year in the police beat that includes the eatery, according to Atlanta police.

Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner confirmed the fee was added to pay for security. He said other Waffle House locations have added security in the past, but he didn’t know of any that charged customers a surcharge to pay for it. He said no specific incident caused the Underground Atlanta restaurant to hire an off-duty officer.

“It is mainly for crowd control,” Warner said. “That area has a lot of traffic and there is not a lot open around there late at night, so we felt it was needed.”

Ron Paul, a Chicago-based restaurant consultant, said he’s baffled by the Waffle House’s security surcharge and would have advised restaurant managers to find some other way to pass security costs on to customers.

“Why not just raise the prices?” Paul said. “Customers know that a Big Mac in Midtown Manhattan is going to cost more than a Big Mac in Kansas.”

The downtown Atlanta Waffle House has tried to give customers notice about the extra fee as soon as they come inside.

A sign on the door says all orders will include “a 20 percent property management surcharge” in addition to local sales taxes. Similar notices are placed at all the tables and are printed on the checks.

Mignon Yarn, who ate breakfast at the downtown Waffle House on Friday, said at first he didn’t realize he was paying extra for security.

“That makes me not want to come back and eat here,” Yarn said. “I’ll just go to another one, then.”

Comments (10) Add comment
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seenitB4
93940
Points
seenitB4 02/16/13 - 02:38 pm
5
0
Glad you put this article on here

I vented my frustration on r/r today....but I'm thinking this will soon be the norm...because we can't get a handle on CRIME...

TK3
562
Points
TK3 02/16/13 - 03:22 pm
3
0
A armed society is a more polite society, so to speak;

W.H. prices too high now, even without hired guns, so why not "allow", even "encourage", customers and employees to carry (post signs) as that would likely stop most, if not all robbery attempts.

restguy
388
Points
restguy 02/16/13 - 06:17 pm
1
0
no problem

I'll pay an extra $ for security....WF prices are cheap already....

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 02/16/13 - 10:46 pm
5
0
Waffle House
Unpublished

20 Percent tax for Osamas gun control. But since you did not build that Waffle House it should remain open as an ATM for his constitutants.

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 02/16/13 - 10:46 pm
3
0
Waffle House
Unpublished

20 Percent tax for Osamas gun control. But since you did not build that Waffle House it should remain open as an ATM for his constitutants.

KSL
140581
Points
KSL 02/17/13 - 05:15 am
3
1
I hate it when good ideas go

I hate it when good ideas go to pot. I remember Underground Atlanta when it was safe.

rebellious
21419
Points
rebellious 02/17/13 - 06:28 am
3
0
restguy

welcome to the forums, but lay off the coffee. But seriously, there can be a delay between hitting the enter key and when the post shows up. Therefore if you click, click, click, click....your post shows up 4 times and people think you are like the Scrat from the movie Ice Age.

freeradical
1149
Points
freeradical 02/17/13 - 08:54 am
2
0
Nothing new here . My

Nothing new here .

My grandfather tells me they used guard the the diners with tommy

guns back in the 30's .

We are actually moving more towards peace & safety everyday .

JRC2024
9999
Points
JRC2024 02/17/13 - 10:11 am
3
0
KSL, I too rem ember going to

KSL, I too rem ember going to underground not long after it opened and it was safe. Sad things happen when the demographics and the economy change. Decent people move to safer areas and the crime leaning people move in.

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