The Waffle House at Underground Atlanta is adding a 20 percent surcharge to customers' checks to pay for a hired security guard.
In a new statement issued Sunday, Waffle House Vice President, Pat Warner said, "We're are excited about being in downtown Atlanta and investing in the Underground. 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."
He said they use off duty APD officers and that the extra security costs them $160,000 a year. Security guards have been at that location since 2008.
The round-the-clock restaurant located on Upper Alabama Street is in a high-crime area which has prompted the need for security.
"The security guard needs to get paid and he's protecting us," said customer Margaret Gardner, who supports the added charge, though she said 20 percent is too high.
But other customers said they would not pay the added charge.
"I think whoever owns this Waffle House should be the one paying for the security guard instead of the customers," said Tiffany Gardner.
The staff at the restaurant informs customers of the added charge immediately after they sit down.
"I've been cussed at," said waitress Quintonia Colbert. "I've had people walk out on me."
Colbert also said the surcharge has forced many customers to leave smaller tips or no tips at all.
"I make maybe $10 or $15 working all night," said Colbert as she headed in to begin her shift on Saturday night.
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