When youâ€™re here, youâ€™re family â€“ especially if that family is full of boozehounds. Â It seems that on March 31, a Florida Olive Garden mistakenly gave a toddler a sippy cup full of sangria instead of the orange juice that was ordered. Â According to an AP report from today:
Jill VanHeest says she took her 2-year-old son Nikolai to the hospital after his eyes turned red and dilated and he began acting up. She said he was given fluids and released a couple hours later with no lasting effects.
This is interesting timing, because almost a week ago an Applebeeâ€™s in Michigan served another toddler a margarita instead of apple juice.
The companyâ€™s responses since have been interesting:
Applebeeâ€™s president Mike Archer, said, in part:
“We want to express how thankful we are that the child involved in the incident at our restaurant … was not seriously injured as a result of accidentally receiving the wrong beverage. We also want to apologize to his parents, for the stress and worry this caused them. Although our efforts to speak with the child’s parents have been unsuccessful, we extend our personal apologies.â€
Conversely, Olive Garden spokesman Rich Jeffers, said, in part:
â€œThis was an extremely regrettable accident caused by the failure of an employee to follow our strict operating procedures. We take this situation very seriously, and we are especially grateful that the child involved was not seriously harmed. We have absolutely no tolerance for failure to follow our operating procedures and we took swift, appropriate action to deal with this situation.â€
The companyâ€™s Facebook page and corporate site fail to mention this issue, the former instead focusing on its sweepstakes and garden fare menu (they were probably too busy waterboarding the offending employee). Â Also note that the Olive Garden debacle happened on March 31 â€“ two weeks ago â€“ with very little damage control until recently. Â Applebeeâ€™s has taken a much more aggressive approach to this six-day-old incident, proactively responding to the issue â€“ even publicizing its new training protocol for employees, without blaming anyone for making the mistake (albeit a doozy).
Both of these chains claim to be family-friendly, but which response leaves a better taste in your mouth? Â My answer is the chain that avoided sweeping the problem under the rug and took the issue on. Â Do you agree?