It seems that it would be a rare occurrence for a restaurant to serve alcohol to not just a minor but a baby or a toddler. But just this week there has been not one but two cases discovered where the very young were being served a booze filled beverage. The first was the case of a baby being served a margarita at Applebee’s, and on the heels of that scandal it turns out a 2-year-old was given a glass of sangria at the Olive Garden.
It started innocently enough, mom Jill Van Heest, of central Florida, had ordered her son Nikolai an orange juice at the popular Italian food chain Olive Garden. The beverage was served to him in a plastic cup and the promptly boy drank most of it. Shortly after, the toddler reportedly got rowdy and noisy. Like many mother’s of toddlers, she though he was just doing that ‘terrible twos’ thing, until the waiter and the manger of the restaurant apparently came to her table and confessed that they had accidently given her son a sangria – a mix of orange juice, pineapple juice and white wine.
She told ABC Action News, “How disorganized can your bar be that you serve something with alcohol to a child in a cup – with a lid nonetheless – and not recognize it for half an hour?” She continued describing the event saying, “I kinda started to tell him, ‘You can’t be loud, we’re at a restaurant,’ and trying to tell him how a good two-year-old should act. But I couldn’t discipline him because he wasn’t acting out… he was drunk!”
The mom rushed her son to the hospital where she had to tell the ER staff that her two-year-old was drunk. The doctors gave him an IV drip.
Olive Garden is taking responsibility for what happened with their spokesman saying:
‘This was an extremely regrettable accident caused by the failure of an employee to follow our strict operating procedures. We have absolutely no tolerance for failure to follow our operating procedures and we took swift, appropriate action to deal with this situation. We take the responsibility that comes with serving alcohol seriously.
We offer our sincerest apologies to the family of the child, and to all of our guests, whose trust we work so hard to earn. We recognize that trust has been jeopardized by this isolated event, and we are focused on ensuring our guests experience the high standards of service that they’ve come to expect from us.”
Do you think these chains should be punished for their mistake? Either through a lawsuit or some kind of fine?
Photo: Flickr Sherina