Waffle House charges 20% security fee

The bill at one location in Atlanta includes a surcharge to keep customers safe.

By Kim Peterson Feb 21, 2013 5:41PM
File photo of a Waffle House breakfast diner near Dawsonville, Ga. on July 28, 2005 (Ric Feld/AP Photo)The potential for nefarious activity is so great at one Waffle House that it now charges customers a 20% fee to pay for security.

The surcharge is only at the Waffle House in the Underground Atlanta shopping center, a place so sketchy that Yelp reviewers say you should only go there if you're in the mood for a fistfight, a palm reading, fake gold jewelry or an aggressive shakedown for spare change. Don't bring a lot of cash, don't make eye contact with anyone and don't show fear, reviewers advise.

There's only one 24-hour establishment in that shopping area: the Waffle House. Which brings us back to that 20% fee. It helps pay for an off-duty Atlanta police officer to work at the restaurant seven days a week, the company told NBC News.

Waffle House tried to put a positive spin on the fee, calling it a "property management surcharge." But that caused some confusion, spokesman Pat Warner told NBC News. So the restaurant decided just to tell it like it is.

Other restaurants might simply roll the security fee into menu prices. But there are so many Waffle Houses in Atlanta that people would surely notice the higher fees at the Underground location, the company told NBC.

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Feb 21, 2013 10:53PM
There must be other places that are at least as tasty as this Waffle House (grease bombs!!).  With this latest publicity, I bet the joint will be packed.  Go find a Village Inn in a nice neighborhood!!
Feb 21, 2013 10:50PM

Why would people continue to spend their money in places like this...  oh, okay the food is great.

Feb 21, 2013 10:38PM
Way past time for certain 'cultures' to move into modern civilization.  This is ridiculous.  Society does not need animals that cannot control themselves.  If you want to be a tuff guy, you want to be a man, get a job, pay your taxes and quit being a punk causing trouble.  

Feb 21, 2013 10:26PM
Love Waffle House food.  Hate that you can't find one in the western part of the US.  Wouldn't go to the one in Underground Atlanta on any bet !!  Cheese 'N Eggs, yum.
Feb 21, 2013 10:00PM

Waffle House has this dead right.  They should charge a security fee if they have to hire a Policeman to guard the place 7 days per week.  I'm not familiar with this area but if people in the neighborhood like to eat there and others in the neighborhood persist in making it unsafe then someone has to pay.  In general it's the neighborhood that pays.


This fee is no different than other taxes WH has to pay - IE:  real estate taxes, payroll taxes, Medicare, Soc Sec, utilities, state tax, city tax, and on and on. 


You can't have it both ways.  I've witnessed businesses go out of business b/c of the neighborhood they were serving.  This is why business moves out.  They provide a service to a community and the community HATES them for it.  Soooooo - either pay up or WH will move out.  This isn't difficult to figure out.  Maybe the tide is changing :)

Feb 21, 2013 9:11PM
One must either be insane or a total masochist to set foot near underground Atlanta.
Feb 21, 2013 9:09PM
sounds like an entertaining place...so they charge a cover!
Feb 21, 2013 8:42PM
Obviously the local cops are not doing their jobs. Probably down the street in a safer neighborhood at the Local Donut House!
Feb 21, 2013 8:27PM
I lived in Atlanta for 5 years and I absolutely loved it. I still miss it, I guess I always will (tear tear cry cry). I frequented Waffle House with my hubby and 5 children. Sometimes he and I'd steal away and have lunch there. He'd always order that pile of hash browns with the jalapeno on the side minus the chili. Me, I always ordered the waffles with a side of bacon. And of course some Tank, Jaheim, or Charlie Wilson (my side piece- hubby just gonna have to understand, oKAY) on the jukebox. Nothing like that place anywhere near that place.

Good times, good times!

Feb 21, 2013 8:21PM
uh...maybe close the place down you think?.....I'll never pay a surcharge for security in a dump like that!
Feb 21, 2013 8:15PM
Dennys and Waffle House should get on board with this as well: ever been to any of those places after the bars/clubs close....all i can say is the freaks come out at night.
Feb 21, 2013 8:07PM
sounds about right, that is just about the worst area of town.  i refuse to go anywhere near it.  they should charge another 20% for a psych evaluation for anyone who was foolish enough to go in there.  it is no worse than the bad parts of most other cities though.


if you are under any sort of illusion about whether some black folks are racist like some white folks are....be white and go there.  it will clear all that right up for you.  sad to say, but it is true.  ignorance is not limited to any skin color.
Feb 21, 2013 8:03PM
So is eating waffles that important as to risk one's life?
Feb 21, 2013 7:55PM
bull sheit ! so if i only spend $3.99  bucks they sacrifice me to the armed robbers ?

I have not been to Atlanta in 40 years, but curious if the area is mostly occupied by Africans?


Just asking1

Even a liberal like me knows TANSTAAFL, (thanks Robert Heinlein, RIP).  There Ain't No Such Thing As a Free Lunch, or free security.
Feb 21, 2013 7:27PM
I don't understand why WH would want to sully their name and be at Underground Atlanta. It's been an eyesoar and **** for years.  Most of downtown is a ****.  Mostly college students live there with other "hipsters". Most of  the big companies have left and now Atlantic Station looks like it will be the next victim.
Feb 21, 2013 7:19PM
What are they putting in those waffles to make everyone so hostile?
Feb 21, 2013 7:13PM
Wow. Paying 20% MORE for Waffle House food. Why not walk a block or two and go to any other Waffle House?, oh wait......I ment to ask, "Why go to a Waffle House in the first place?" Damned auto correct.
Feb 21, 2013 6:58PM
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