UnderCover Waitress: Allergies, Restaurants and Lawsuits, Oh, My!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Allergies, Restaurants and Lawsuits, Oh, My!

I get really hot under the collar when people with allergies keep them a secret. Drives me nuts, no pun intended.

When a customer has an allergy, we immediately alert the kitchen. If a customer asks about an ingredient, we ask the kitchen. Cutting corners risks lives.

Many in the restaurant industry are upset about this lawsuit. A Melfort restaurant fed a man allergic to nuts a cheesecake that had walnuts in it. He managed to survive, so the damages are going to him and not to his beneficiaries.

I, however, am happy about the verdict and glad the man won the lawsuit. Here is why:
  • He told the waitress he was allergic to nuts
  • He asked if there were nuts in the cheesecake before ordering and eating
  • Waitress was too lazy to check with the kitchen. 
There have been comments around the internet on this news story to the tune that people with allergies should "just stay home." I think our society used to feel that way about the disabled. Today, we build ramps. 

The waitress did not do her job. While it is beside the point, her job would have been quite easy. The cheesecake was not even home made; it came out of a box (yuck.) She could have read the damn label. (Why anybody would pay restaurant prices for boxed cheesecake is beyond me; but again, its beside the point.)

Here is another article on the incident that ends thus:

"You can't possibly put your life in the hands of people who are serving a table," she said.

It is unfortunate that the person quoted is correct. We would most likely work in a more respected profession if we were diligent and careful in the service we provide.

Let this be a warning to lazy restauranteurs that customer service includes service to people who tell you they have allergies. 


  1. Agreed. When someone asks about an ingredient, I go out of my way to check. I have too many friends with food allergies to take those things lightly. What a shame for that man, who was just trying to ensure that he stayed safe and trusted someone who shouldn't have been trusted. I'm glad he lived to file suit against them, and even happier that he won.

    On the flip side, so many people DON'T do what this guy did, and will ultimately end up paying for it. It bugs the shit out of me when someone orders something and then, about 2 minutes before the food comes out, they say, "Oh, does that have _____ in it? I'm allergic." What the fuck? You have a severe allergy but it doesn't cross your mind to fucking ASK about it being in your dish when you order? Does your life mean nothing to you? Christ.

    I'll MSG sensitive. It isn't life-threatening, but in moderate to large quantities it will make me very very ill for about 24 hours. If I have doubts, I ask. If I still have doubts after asking, I don't order it. My allergy isn't life-threatening but I still take responsibility for my needs, and IMO other diners should too.

    Kudos to the nut-allergy guy for trying to make sure he ordered appropriate food, but I'm sorry the waitress was fucking lazy even though an allergy was involved. It disgusts me to know that she didn't care enough about a life-threatening allergy to check a fucking label.

  2. 1)Get friend to work in restaurant
    2)Order food containing allergic ingredients, ask but make sure friend do not consult kitchen

    1. 1) Pull stupid shit because you don't take allergies seriously.
      2) Die.


Please share your thoughts.