Society

Restaurant Serves Young Kids Alcoholic Root Beers

| by Sean Kelly
Johnson City, Tennessee, Applebee'sJohnson City, Tennessee, Applebee's

A Johnson City, Tennessee, Applebee's restaurant reportedly served alcoholic beverages to three children unknowingly.

According to Johnson City Police Chief Mark Sirois, officers responded to a local father's call regarding wait staff who served his three young children alcoholic root beers on March 10, WJHL reports.

Scottie Barnett said his three children ordered root beer at the restaurant and were subsequently served by an Applebee's employee. Two of his children -- a 9-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl -- drank some of the bottled beverage. His third child, a 10-year-old girl, was reportedly also served the beverage but did not drink it.

Barnett noticed, however, that the drinks were alcohol root beers called "Not Your Father's Root Beer."

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Barnett said he alerted the employee to the issue, who insisted that the drinks were non-alcoholic. He then contacted police and the restaurant's corporate office.

"This is a 5.9 percent alcoholic drink," Barnett told WJHL. "They don’t even serve root beer here at this establishment.”

His son was later taken to a nearby hospital with stomach pains; he was later released and is expected to be okay.

"Sincere apologies were made, the family accepted dinner as our guests and immediate re-training of all team members on duty took place," Applebee's spokesman Patrick Lenow said in response to the incident. "Re-training of all team members of all the restaurants operated by this owner will be completed tomorrow.”

Lenow stressed that the situation was "an isolated mistake in one restaurant owned by an independent franchise operator."

"Strict requirement are in place to prevent this type of error and this mistake should not have happened," he added.

A regional Applebee's manager drove from Knoxville to speak with employees at the restaurant and address the incident. The employee who served the children the beverages was suspended pending an investigation.

No report was filed, Sirois said, because the incident was not criminal in nature.

In a similar incident in November 2014, a Colorado seafood restaurant accidentally served alcoholic beverages to a group of children between the ages of 2 and 8 years old, Jezebel reported at the time.

The restaurant, Joe's Crab Shack, later released a statement saying that they were conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

Sources: WJHL, Jezebel / Photo credit: Wikipedia, WJHL

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