Toddler served tequila at Applebees

13 Apr

Friday, April 8th in Madison Heights, Michigan a 15-month-old boy was accidently served tequila-spiked apple juice in his sippy cup at an Applebees restaurant in the area.

Taylor Dill-Reese,  the toddler’s mother, says her son began acting strange after taking a few swigs from what she thought was apple juice. After being checked out by doctors, it was discovered that the toddler’s blood alcohol level was .10—two points over the legal limit for an adult driver.

Applebees attempted to reach out to the parents, but were unsuccessful. Here is the press release that the company put out:

LENEXA, KS — (Marketwire) — 04/11/2011 — We want to express how thankful we are that the child involved in the incident at our restaurant in Madison Heights, MI on April 8, 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.

After receiving the Madison Heights Police report this afternoon, we know that the child was served a trace amount of alcohol (per the MHPD report published 4/11/11, “the officer checked the drink with his PBT and it registered a .014”) and are trying to get more details about this information. Furthermore, as per the police report, EMTs checked the child at the scene and he was released. As we work to gather all of the facts related to this incident, including conducting our own investigation with our restaurant staff, we are also moving forward with pro-active actions to help prevent a reoccurrence:

1) We are changing the way we serve apple juice to our young guests. We will switch to pouring apple juice only from single-serve containers served at the table. We have already started communicating this new policy within our system and it will be in-place this week.

2) We will retrain all servers on our beverage pouring policy, emphasizing that non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages must be stored in completely separate and identified containers. This retraining will begin immediately.

We recognize our responsibility to constantly assess our safety policies and procedures to ensure they are rigorous and consistently followed. We believe today’s strong actions make a statement to our guests of all ages around our commitment to provide a safe and enjoyable dining experience.


4 Responses to “Toddler served tequila at Applebees”

  1. kylelashcraft April 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    I wrote about this same occurrence. This must be a scary situation for parents, and a even scarier situation for Applebee’s owners. If I were a parent, I wouldn’t even bother attending a restaurant where there’s a possibility my child would be given alcohol. If though this was a one-time mistake, Applebee’s will suffer a long-term cut in sales.

  2. amsakis April 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that a restaurant can make a mistake like this. I heard that the toddler actually had to have his stomach pumped! When serving drinks to children, Applebee’s should already have very distinctive labels in order to not get alcoholic drinks mixed up with non-alcoholic drinks. Personally, I think it’s shocking that they’re talking about enforcing a system for this only after this incident.
    Thanks for the read,

  3. katycarpinello April 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    I think this is absolutely ridiculous. It’s really crazy when you think about it. The restaurant should be more aware of the things that they serve children. How could one not know that you were serving a toddler alcohol? It’s weird because I never heard about this till today. It’s a strange world we live in.


  1. Blog Comments « The News, But in a Good Way - April 14, 2011

    […] “Child served tequila at Applebee’s” by Rachel Laflam […]

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