You might recall mere days ago, I tried to defend Applebee’s against the unjust allegations that they were trying to give alcohol to a toddler when they, in fact, ACCIDENTALLY gave a toddler alcohol. Big difference.
Yesterday, after the uproar had reached a fever pitch (and by fever pitch, I mean it was on a couple of news sites), a mother from Florida decided this would be a good time for her and her lawyer to come forward.
Apparently, not only does Applebee’s condone childhood alcoholism, but Olive Garden does as well.
On March 31st, Jill VanHeest, a Lakeland, Florida woman was looking for an authentic Italian meal. Italian restaurants are very expensive, though, so she settled on everyone’s favorite replacement: Olive Garden.
As Jill sat down to dinner, she ordered a delightful orange juice for her 2-year-old son, Nikolai. 30 minutes later, Nikolai became very belligerent. At first, no one thought anything about it because, let’s face it, toddlers don’t behave that differently from drunk people in the first place. They speak gibberish, cry randomly, and are unable to walk a straight line. When he started hitting on the most unattractive toddler in the restaurant, though, is when they noticed something very strange.
The now empty cup had been full of sangria.
As Nikolai slurred his toddler gibberish, Jill spoke to the manager. Apparently the mistake happened when the server had grabbed a sangria pitcher instead of an orange juice pitcher. The only way the situation could have been worse is if he had jokingly said, “Well, if I had a dollar for every time that happened…”
Olive Garden has now made it a rule that in all restaurants that alcoholic beverages cannot be prepared in advance and stored in a pitcher, preventing these future mistakes, but also destroying the business of Al’s Great Big Pitcher World, the official pitcher emporium of Olive Garden.
With these two incidents all over the news, many restaurants owners are asking themselves what they can do to prevent this kind of madness from happening in their fine establishment.
Sure, they could just ban children from coming in. If there are no kids, there can’t possibly be any drunken kids. Kids tend to become bratty in restaurants anyway, plus it would save a fortune on crayon costs. Unfortunately, all the savings from this would be spent hiring a doorman to make sure that tall stranger in the trench coat wasn’t really just two or three kids standing on each other’s shoulders. According to research (research being cartoons), nine out of ten strangers in trench coats are just a tower of kids.
So with that out, what other option could there be?
Well, here’s a novel idea: LABEL YOUR PITCHERS.
I have never once in my life poured orange juice on my cereal in the morning. Do you know why? First off, I am observant and notice that milk is not orange. If I pull out milk and it is orange, I should probably have something else for breakfast.
The biggest reason I never have orange juice Frosted Flakes, though, has to do with labels. See, one jug says milk on it. When I see that, I know I am holding milk.
If you label your pitcher of sangria with a nice label that says SANGRIA on it, that would drastically cut down on the likelihood of a kid ending up with a kid’s cup full of liquid courage instead of the chocolate milk that was ordered.
Just remember, managers. You can prevent being the third restaurant in the news for this. The power is in your hands.
Oh, it also could help if you made your employees pay attention. Orange Juice and Sangria do not look or smell the same.
We’ve had a lot of fun today at the expense of these restaurants, but I would like to bring up a serious issue. Nearly 7 out of 10 toddlers will be alcoholics by the time they reach the terrible twos. This increases the chances of accidents involving drunken tricyclists by tenfold.
Remember, a child’s bottle should only have milk in it, never hooch.
- Another toddler got drunk, this time at Olive Garden (inquisitr.com)