Frankie and Benny’s know their way round a burger, but it seems the optics were a bit too much to memorise for one staff member, after a four-year-old girl was served an alcoholic beverage.
Now the girl’s furious dad has claimed the drink, a mistakenly made cocktail by their waitress for a mocktail, got his little girl drunk and left her nursing a hangover the following day.
Mark Thomas and his family popped into a local branch of the American diner-style food chain on December 20 and ordered a ‘softail’ from the kids’ menu for his daughter, Evelyn, who is just four.
Evelyn quickly knocked back a third of the drink, but complained it tasted a bit funny.
Mark and his fiancee, Kathryn Wilson, initially thought the youngster was being a little picky and encouraged her to drink more of what they thought to be a Fruity Sunrise – a juice drink.
Moments later, a waitress rushed over to inform the couple there has been a mistake and Evelyn had been going to town on an F&B on the Beach – a drink made of vodka, peach schnapps, and orange and cranberry juice.
Thomas claims minutes later a waitress rushed over and said:
I’m so sorry, I really am sorry, I’ve given your daughter a real cocktail.
Recounting the story on his Honest Father blog, it turns out the mistake was pretty costly, and although Paul paid for the meal, his daughter started feeling odd quickly after.
Evelyn started telling jokes, dancing in their booth, and giggling to herself in the bathroom mirror after drinking it, even though, as Paul explained, he tried to soak up the effects of the booze by giving his daughter lots of garlic bread.
As she was unable to walk to the toilet in a stable fashion – something many of us at the legal drinking age can empathise with – Paul took her to A&E on doctor’s advice.
Doctors checked the youngster before advising that she sleep off the booze and warning her concerned parents she would have a hangover.
Mark wrote on his blog:
We let Evelyn sleep in until 10am. She woke up groggy, croaky and complaining of a sore head. Textbook hangover.
Seeing our daughter intoxicated was something Kate and I thought we had over a decade to prepare ourselves for. Apparently not – a mistake from a local restaurant meant that we witnessed our four year old child drunk.
As if that wasn’t weird and disturbing enough, she had the inevitable hangover the next day. I appreciate this might sound funny to some but think about it – she’s four years old, and she was drunk. It’s wrong…
A Frankie & Benny’s spokesman told the Metro:
We sincerely apologise for this unfortunate incident and any distress caused. Our staff acted quickly as soon as they became aware of the situation.
They added the mistake ‘was genuine human error and we will do our utmost to ensure this does not happen again’.