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Applebee’s, Olive Garden Paying for a Round of Drinks

Don’t they card people to avoid these sorts of mistakes? Maybe the sippy cups should’ve been a sign that these customers were underage?

Olive Garden and Applebee’s are feeling the fever because they’ve served alcohol to small kids. They say it was just a crazy oversight, but as  publicist Katherine Paine tells USA Today, “The problem is, it’s too good a story. It’s got babies, alcohol and food.” All things that get massive amounts of attention.

The USA Today story includes a few tips for avoiding this sort of error in the future. “Retrain staff. ’Every employee is a PR rep,’ says crisis guru Jonathan Bernstein. ‘These incidents prove how many crises start with line workers,’” reads one of the bullets. And both restaurants say they’ve changed their policies. Now they have to keep getting the word out that they’re sorry, they’ve changed, and ride out the media frenzy.

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