Good thing he didn't order milk.

Child mistakenly served alcohol at Applebee’s.

I dunno; mistakes happen. Does margarita mix (by itself, without ice) look enough like apple juice for it to be an understandable mistake?

Plain margarita mix would look more like lime juice then apple juice, besides it would probably come out of one of those funky bottles with the long necks.

I assume they must have other flavors though. They must have had one either close enough to apple juice that the parents didn’t notice, or it wasn’t in a clear cup. If the bartender poured it into a sippy cup (which has a lid and isn’t clear), I’d have to wonder what was going on in their head that they didn’t process what they were doing.

My only guess is they figured they could sub an apple flavored mixer for apple juice and didn’t realize it had alcohol in it.

Lots of bars keep juice in those too.
It’s not uncommon to buy huge jugs of juice and refill the pour bottles.

My guess is someone in the kitchen thought it would be a hilarious prank to give a kid an alcoholic drink.

I guess my experimental research classes are really starting to have an effect on me, because when I saw this on Good Morning, America, I thought, I’m going to need the statistics on alcoholic drinks accidentally served to toddlers at all eating establishments in the U.S. before I decide if this is a real news story.

Reading this article it seems this isn’t the first time it’s happened.
I have a possible solution. If the patron isn’t 21, the drink doesn’t come from behind the bar. Some bars have a waitress’ station the lets the waitresses get ice and water from the other side of the bar. I could see ice water (from the patron side) being the only exception. Keep apple juice, milk, kiddy cocktails etc in the kitchen. The problem is that it would cost more to do that. You’d have to either have the servers doing it or have another person on duty all day just to deal with N/A drinks.

My guess is that you’re a presumptuous fool for jumping to such a conclusion.
A mistake may have been made, we don’t know all the details. Anyway, it’s far from the end of the world.

They should’ve captured it on video. They missed a golden opportunity be the next David after Dentist. Dominic after Drinking?

But does it happen often enough to justify such a step? And are the effects bad enough?

Yeah–it sounds like the toddler got tipsy. Which really, really shouldn’t happen, but isn’t the end of the world.

I was at Applebees the other night and the kid at the table across from me (who looked to be about 4) got a huge pilsner glass full of apple juice. Before I heard the waitress say “here’s your apple juice” I almost fell out of my chair.

Not sure why they didn’t give him a plastic kiddie cup, but then again it was 10:30 PM on a Wednesday and there was a 4-year-old at an Applebees.

This is a national news story if there ever was one. I, for one, applaud our double good plus news editors.

Probably not. At first I started to write that it’s a waste of money to ‘retrain the staff’ then I realized that it’s probably just something they’re writing for PR. Either that or they’re going to start keeping all the NA stuff way over in one end of the coolers and ‘train’ the staff that no alcoholic stuff is allowed over there. That’ll last for a few weeks until they run out of space or they have a busy night and the bartender puts the grenadine somewhere a bit closer and it never gets put back. But as far as corporate is concerned they’ll have a policy in place so if it does happen again they can place more of the blame on the bartender, bar manager, GM for mixing the NA and alcoholic stuff.

I have no idea what the effects are, but I wouldn’t want to be the restaurant the ends up killing a toddler (if that’s a possibility).

OTOH a Sizzler by me killed a toddler about 10 years ago and it ended up going out of business (as well as the next four restaurants that occupied that building) but to the best of my knowledge the rest of the chain is doing ok.

But, you have to remember, thousands and thousands of apple juices are poured every year, statistically, it’s going to happen from time to time. It sucks and it shouldn’t happen, but it’s going to. Someone’s also going to get salmonella, someone’s going to get a floor steak, someone’s going to martini instead of a appletini…when you have the volume that Applebee’s does, the odds are stacked against them, mistakes are going to happen. All they can do is learn from them. From the article I linked to, it said this isn’t the first time it’s happened and they’re going to switch to juice boxes for apple juice. So, in theory, it shouldn’t happen any more…at least not this specific mix up.

Yeah I’m +1 on what you’re saying. In any busy bar mistakes will happen from time to time. Unless it’s something that’s happening multiple times a night I would think it’s no big deal.

And based on my experience, a kid having some alcohol, while not desirable is not that big of a deal either.

Margarita mix doesn’t HAVE alcohol in it. You take your margarita mix, and you take your tequila, and you take your ice, and you combine them. Using a blender is optional. Then you put the concoction into a glass with salt on the rim. The glass may or may not have cactus arms on it, but it MUST have salt on the rim. This way you can control just how much booze you get in your margarita. IOW, someone had to actually put that booze into that kid’s drink. The only thing that I can think of is that the server grabbed the wrong drink, because those beverages don’t mix themselves.

I gotta say, though, I’m all :dubious: :confused: :smack: when I read that both parents of a 15 month old child are under 21 themselves. Mom is 18. :smack: :smack: :smack:

They might make it up ahead of time so they can make margaritas faster.
Otherwise…you know what does look like apple juice…straight up tequila, but I’d be surprised if a toddler could down enough tequila to get tipsy without mentioning something.

There are also margarita (and other drink) mixes with alcohol already added in. It wouldn’t surprise me if a restaurant used this to control how much alcohol was being dispensed per drink.

At the body weight of a toddler, there’s not a very broad gap in alcohol consumption level between ‘tipsy’, ‘really sick’, and ‘dead’. And a child that young wouldn’t be aware of or able to communicate that something was wrong. It’s very fortunate that the parents were paying enough attention to catch this before the situation got very dangerous. (The kid’s BAC was measured at .10%, BTW. That’s a fair bit beyond ‘tipsy’.)

Not according to the police there. Somebody would be charged with child endangerment or something if they thought it happened on purpose. I’m a little skeptical of the parents’ statements that the kid could have died and that he’s still not well (of course it’s only been a few days). It’s not impossible but it sounds like someone is setting the stage for a lawsuit against Applebee’s.