Applebee’s: An “uh-oh” in the neighborhood!

Well- what a lovely spring day in the neighborhood.

Birds are chirping, sun is shining, and it’s almost happy hour–just not for the Applebee’s PR department.

Today Applebee’s is scrambling to determine how Tequila, somehow mixed with apple juice, then mislabeled, ended up in a 15-month-old’s sippy cup. The child, who was examined by hospital staff, reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .10- which exceeds driving levels in most states.

Applebee’s is cooperating with local police while they conduct their investigation, and has launched an internal examination into the matter–according to a statement from Applebee’s Spokesperson Nancy Mays.

Now, for personal thoughts:

Bottom line: It’s an unfortunate accident- but it’s negligence that’s the culprit here, which means the company will have to do more damage control in the long run. Things I’ll be watching for:

  • The corporate responses via Twitter/Facebook, in an attempt to control the public’s perception during the viral E-spread of this incident. Have yet to see an “official” statement on their Web site.
  • I’d expect a public apology in the next day or so; coupled with an update on the investigation.
  • There will be disciplinary firings; perhaps someone who may not deserve it. The server, bartender and supervising manager should come under intense scrutiny.
  • Expect more safety standards to erupt–such as purchasing independent single serve (and sealed!)  juices/milks rather than the bulk alternates most restaurants use–at least intermittently.

Stay tuned! Looking forward to examining this further.

Official Statement from Applebee’s

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