BUSINESS

Waffle House Adds 20 Percent Surcharge To Cover Security Guard

Feb 19, 2013 | Updated Feb 20, 2013

A side of safety will now cost you a little extra at an Atlanta-area Waffle House.

One of the 24-hour breakfast chain's establishments is charging customers an additional 20 percent to pay for the cost of a security guard, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The Waffle House is located in the downtown shopping district known as Underground Atlanta, which has struggled with a reputation as a high crime area.

Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner confirmed that the surcharge has been in place since the middle of last December.

"We're the only 24-hour establishment in that neighborhood," he told The Huffington Post by phone. "As such, the heightened security is in place to address crowd control issues and ensure the safety of our customers and associates."

Employees of the Waffle House in question declined to comment when contacted by The Huffington Post.

Still, both customers and employees appear ambivalent about the surcharge that pays for the $160,000 annual cost of putting an off-duty Atlanta police officer on guard at certain times, according to CBS Atlanta.

When asked if she appreciated the added security, one waitress told MyFoxAtlanta: "Moneywise no, but safety-wise, yes."

"I've been cussed at, I've had people walk out on me," another waitress told CBS Atlanta. She added that the impact of the surcharge has reduced her tips to just $10 to $15 a night.

Waffle Houses across the country have had to deal with violent crime in the past. Rapper Kid Rock was even arrested for brawling at a different Atlanta location back in 2007, according to Access Atlanta.

Yet security surcharges aren't unique to the Waffle House. In Tel Aviv, the Brew House asked customers to pay extra for security back more than a decade ago, according to The Miami Herald.

This post has been updated to include comment from Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post stated that Underground Atlanta has a "typically high crime rate." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in December that the overall crime rate in the locale has fallen by 15 percent.

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