Applebee's to retrain staff after mixed-drink mixup

CHICAGO Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:15pm EDT

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - The company that owns the Applebee's restaurant chain said on Monday it was immediately retraining its workers nationwide after a server at a suburban Detroit location accidentally served alcohol to a toddler.

The company, California-based DineEquity Inc, said it would also change the way it serves juice to youngsters to eliminate the chance of any mixups that could result in any more toddlers receiving mixed drinks.

On Friday, Taylor Dill-Reese went to an Applebee's in Madison Heights, Michigan, where -- among other things -- she ordered her 15-month-old son Dominick an apple juice.

What the little boy apparently got instead was a margarita. His mom told WDIV-TV that she only realized something was wrong when Dominick "kind of laid his head on the table and dozed off a little bit and woke up and got real happy."

The little boy reportedly began hailing strangers, too.

Applebee's released a statement on Monday saying it was relieved that Dominick was "not seriously injured as a result of accidentally receiving the wrong beverage" and apologizing to his family "for the stress and worry this caused them."

It said it would begin to serve apple juice to children only from single-serve containers at the table and would "retrain all severs on our beverage pouring policy, emphasizing that non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages must be stored in completely separate and identified containers."

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; editing by Greg McCune)

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Comments (3)
sgreco1970 wrote:
I’m sorry but how much training does it require to not serve a toddler a marguerita? Although the idea of fool-proof container drinks is at least a valid notion to implement, that imbecilic server should simply get tossed instead of berating staffers worldwide with a humiliating retraining in “how not to slip a mickey in a mickey mouse cup.”

Apr 11, 2011 6:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
reasonating wrote:
This happens all of the time at any place where they served mixed drinks and underage people are allowed. As a teenager, I personally twice was present when somebody in my group of friends ordered a “virgin” drink and it still had alcohol in it, and have had multiple friends with similar stories. Server carelessness is common at many restaurants. And while I don’t know if having a training program will make those people more careful, the fact that this toddler’s situation has been well-publicized will hopefully stop at least a few of those careless folk from dosing a child or other minor, not to mention those people who may be recovering alcoholics.

Apr 11, 2011 7:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rodtrent wrote:
Why not just eliminate alcohol altogether and make Applebee’s a family-friendly restaurant?

Apr 12, 2011 3:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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