Pregnant and Drinking. Server’s Responsiblity or the Mom’s?

pregnancy-alcohol-1

make it a double.

Recently, a reader by the name of Shelli sent me the link to a website called Baby Center because someone had posted a comment that she felt I could appreciate it. And when I say “appreciate” I mean “totally rip it apart.” Shelli was right. I have left the bad spelling and punctuation to fully illustrate the original writer’s intent. Here is the comment and the original link:

My dh, dd and I went out to lunch. I went to the bathroom as we were seated. When I got back to the table the waitress was getting the drink order. He says I ordered you a rasberry lemonade. Great. Ok. Fast forward to our bill and I see it was an alcoholic drink. Wth! I gave my 19 mo daughter some. So he’s pissed and I’m super upset. He asked for a lemonade and she said they had rasberry lemonade. And that was it. She then saw me come to the table with an 8 month belly because she had to step out of the way for me to sit. So we ask her and she said that she thought it was a personal preference and she knew she was serving me from the bar. She didnt think she needed to tell us that the lemonade was alcoholic. I am seeing red.  Ask to speak the manager and all he saysis he will talk to the servers about it. And the drink was off the check.at that point I had to leave because I’m crying and freaking out that my dd had hard liquor.I’m not sure what to do now. Write a letterto owners? Bad online rere views? What else can i do?

Where to start? First off, I don’t know what “dh” and “dd” means. I have this awful feeling that it means Darling Husband and Darling Daughter, but I just pulled that out of my ass and could be totally wrong. So, basically, the waitress brought this prego lady a raspberry (raspberry has a P in it, by the way.) lemonade assuming that the man had read the menu and knew what he was ordering. A few minutes later when the waitress saw the 8-month baby bump popping out of the probable tube-top, she probably though, “Meh, another pregnant lady having a cocktail. Whatever.”

It is not the server’s job to be worry about the consequences of customers food and beverage choices. If a waitress told an obese woman that she should probably order a salad and Diet Coke instead of a milkshake and a bacon double cheeseburger with curly fries, people would be all, “it’s none of her fucking business what she orders!” But when it comes to alcohol and pregnant ladies, people want servers to be judge and jury. Can’t have it both ways, folks.

Prego is also upset that the waitress didn’t feel the need to tell her DD that the drink was an alcoholic beverage. Well guess what, Prego. Maybe your Darling Husband should have read the fucking menu so he’d know what he was ordering. You ever think of that? If the only lemonade they offer is on the menu under the alcoholic drinks, then why would the waitress just assume that he didn’t know what he was ordering?

And whose fault is it that you gave your Darling Daughter a sip? Yours, honey. I don’t think that waitress stuck a Crazy Straw into the glass and forced it to your daughter’s lips. Besides, if you drank a whole glass of lemonade that was spiked and you didn’t even notice it, it probably only had about an ounce of liquor in it. Your daughter is fine. The bigger risk is that she is going to contact herpes simplex 1 and catch a raging case of cold sores from sharing your glass.

The manager told you he’d talk to the servers about it and then he took the drink off your check. What else do you want? Would you like him to pump your stomach? Or maybe he can get into his time machine and go back forty minutes so he can come to your table while you are in the restroom and tell your Dumbass (I like that way better than darling) Husband to read the fucking menu so he knows what he is ordering. You may have been “seeing red” but all that manager saw was a hormonal pregnant lady wailing about something that was nobody’s fault but her own.

And now you want to know what to do? Of course your first thought is to write a bad online review. That’ll do it, Prego. The world needs more whining on Yelp because there isn’t quite enough of that yet. And then maybe write a letter to the owner so they’ll know that your husband didn’t pay attention to the menu and then the waitress brought what he asked for and then made the decision to let you have what your ordered. Yeah, do that.

Good luck with the birth of your upcoming crotch dumpling. Maybe the waitress should have confirmed that the only lemonade they offered had alcohol in it, but more importantly, the DH should have ordered something that he read on the fucking menu.

 

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39 thoughts on “Pregnant and Drinking. Server’s Responsiblity or the Mom’s?

  1. Tom

    I think the waitress was wrong in this case. A lemonade is non-alcoholic. I would assume that if I was ordering a lemonade. And after being told it was raspberry lemonade I still would have assumed it was non-alcoholic. I have waited tables 20+ years so I know what’s up. To bring an alcoholic drink in it’s place is either check padding or stupidity on the waitress’s part.

    Reply
    1. Krissi

      I don’t agree with you. If the “Raspberry Lemonade” is listed on the menu as alcoholic and there is no non alcoholic version why is the server wrong? I have also been serving for 20+ years and if your restaurant has been serving this drink for awhile it is probably not commonplace for the servers to dissuade the guests from ordering it. RTFM…..or eat at home

      Reply
      1. Mot

        Krissi: He asked the server for a lemonade. She said they has raspberry lemonade. Anyone with any sense would know that someone asking for lemonade is not asking for alcohol, and he obviously wasn’t ordering from the menu if he was asking her if they had it. So there’s no reason for him to even suspect any possibility that the drink could be alcoholic.

        The server was stupid, reckless and incompetent for not telling him it’s got alcohol in it and for accepting an order for an alcoholic beverage for someone not present.

        The man ordering had NO reason to expect he would be getting an alcoholic beverage. He was not at fault. The server was at fault, and management for not training the server better.

        Reply
    2. Sara

      I actually had this happen to me once, except I was not pregnant. My mom and I were out to eat and each ordered a lemonade, the waitress said we also have raspberry. We said sure that sounds good. After drinking them for a bit, we start thinking these taste a bit boozy, so we ask. They were. While we didn’t have a problem with it, we wonder what would have happened if this happened to a recovering alcoholic.

      Reply
      1. ShezAnEnigma

        I agree with you. The last restaurant I worked at, we had lemonade, strawberry and blackberry lemonade. We served alcohol, however our lemonade was non alcoholic. It would never dawn on me that if I say I want a lemonade and the server says “We have raspberry lemonade” that it would be alcoholic. I ordered lemonade, no need to even look in a menu. However the server shpuld say “Well, if you like a little kick we have a raspberry lemonade with a shot of..” whatever.. just saying…

        Reply
  2. Krissi

    At my restaurant we aren’t allowed to take an order for an alcoholic beverage if the person isn’t at the table. We have to do a visual age check before we order it. So I would have said to Dumbass Husband unfortunately I will have to wait for your wife to put her drink in because it is alcoholic.. Dumbass would have probably changed the order at that point. If that is not the policy of that restaurant than the server was correct and preggo got more than she should have ( they always do) great post as always Bitchy

    Reply
  3. Francesca

    Just a thought…shouldn’t she have tasted the alcohol in it? One sip isn’t going to hurt you, but if she downed the whole glass surely she could taste it.

    Reply
  4. Karen

    Coming from a mom of 2, It’s not that big of a deal. Yes, maybe the server should have pointed out it was spiked when seeing the woman was pregnant… However, what idiot can’t tell the difference! Also, at late stage pregnancy one drink will not hurt the baby, her stressing and overreacting can do more harm. In addition, the worst thing that can happen to the toddler is she sleeps thru the night.

    Reply
    1. John P

      We make a strawberry hard lemonade at my restaurant, it is made with bacardi limon and triple sec, you cannot tase the booze in it at all seeing as it is a 1oz bevvy served tall.
      Just sayin.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Exactly what it sounds like she got, which if so is not enough alcohol to harm the baby if she was already 8 months.

        Reply
  5. Christine

    I think this can be summed up as a miscommunication on both sides. It sounds like assumptions were made on both sides. It’s not a server’s responsibility to tell a pregnant woman not to drink. In many cultures, drinking while pregnant (in moderation) is acceptable. However, when I was noticeably preggo and ordered a drink (oh no! A (one) drink! I’m a horrible mother!) the server asked if I’d like it virgin, which was a very subtle, acceptable way of saying ‘lady, if you want to screw up your kid that’s your choice, but I’m just making sure you aren’t 100% stupid and know there is alcohol in this thing.’ Totally acceptable.
    However, I would question a drink that is titled only ‘Raspberry Lemonade’. As a consumer, I would assume it’s plain jane lemonade with raspberry puree. Now if it was something like ‘stoli raspberry lemonade’ or ‘Summer Breeze Raspberry Lemonade’, then I’d question it’s alcohol content.

    Sounds to me like ‘DH’ ordered a drink without looking at the menu and assuming it was NA and the server brought the drink assuming the pregnant lady wanted it and that ‘DH’ knew what he was ordering.

    Reply
    1. CrimsonAndClover

      “…the server asked if I’d like it virgin…”

      —This would piss me off. The server assumed that you needed to have someone point out that you were 1) pregnant, 2) ordering alcohol, and 3) not a fully capable adult able to make an informed choice without someone ‘nannying’ you.

      Reply
  6. anne marie in philly

    you are correct in your DD and DH assumptions, bitchy.

    and I also assume “raspberry lemonade” is non-alcoholic.

    but miss preggers blew everything out of proportion. next time, the crotchfruit incubator should order her own damn drink AND her daughter’s.

    people that cannot spell properly should be shot.

    Reply
  7. Sarah S

    The point the woman is making is not that the server should be making a decision on pregnant women’s alcoholic preferences. She is annoyed that the server brought her an alcoholic drink when one was not ordered, and further, assumed that they knew it was alcoholic all along.

    “He asked for a lemonade and she said they had rasberry lemonade.”

    I would have assumed she meant a non-alcoholic flavored lemonade. If I ordered an iced tea, I would not expect a LI iced tea. Same thing.

    Reply
  8. ChrisitneN

    I actually strongly disagree with the POV presented in this piece. I’ve yet to disagree with BW but in this instance, I feel strongly that this server is guilty of some serious ignorance.
    If we are to assume that the poster is correct when she claims that the waitress saw her pregnant belly *before* she walked away and submitted the order, then the waitress is already guilty of two things:
    1) The husband requested a lemonade, not a cocktail. The server should have included the nature of the rasp. lemonade in the upsell. Several restaurants offer flavored varieties of lemonade, it wasn’t the husband’s job to pour through the cocktail menu to ensure that what he was being upsold on was NOT listed.
    2) Assuming the husband indicated “my wife would like a lemonade” the server should have been able to put two and two together when the woman returned to the table, and absolutely should have clarified if she would like a cocktail.

    Unfortunately it is not required by law to refuse alcohol service to pregnant women, however I firmly believe that servers have a responsibility to be informed and to be socially conscious.
    I am the oldest of 5 children, and the only biological child. All four of my siblings suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (formerly known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). This disorder results in life-long challenges, many being insurmountable, for the children who suffer from it. It is devastating to watch children face defeat after continuous defeat as a result of their bio-mom’s poor decision making.
    There is a risk with every ounce of alcohol consumed, at every stage in the pregnancy.
    That being said, although no law forbids a pregnant woman from ordering booze, I will personally refuse service. In the same way that I will NOT knowingly serve a minor, I will refuse to knowingly allow a woman to subject her unborn baby to such heartbreaking consequences .
    I am a full time student, and desperately need my income, however I will gladly sacrifice one table’s tip and take the opportunity to intervene and *hopefully* give my guest a chance to rethink her own actions.
    The server in this situation didn’t even need to put that much effort into her thoughts, all she had to do was engage her guest, look at the pregnant belly, smile and double check, instead of pulling a fast one over on her table.
    It makes me quite sad when people are too uninformed and/or apathetic to take the extra 30 seconds it takes to potentially evade a devastating reality.

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      I just wanted to add, in some states it is illegal to refuse to serve alcohol to a pregnant person. They fall under a protected group law.

      Reply
      1. ChrisitneN

        Is it?
        I love that.
        I serve in Canada, where we surprisingly have no government regulation on alcohol consumption, at least in my province.

        Reply
        1. Kate

          Somehow I don’t think you read Sarah’s response. She wrote that in some states it is illegal NOT to serve alcohol to pregnant women. Because these lawmakers are treating women like adults who can think for themselves. Which kind of goes hand in hand with having control over their own bodies, i.e. abortion rights. Kind of like those pharmacists who say it goes against their beliefs to give out contraception pills to women and teenaged girls. And the fact that a pregnant woman having a small drink like once a week, particularly in the late stages of pregnancy, does not cause fetal alcohol syndrome. It is in fact okay according to doctors. It takes a lot more alcohol than that to cause fetal alcohol syndrome, like regularly getting drunk.

          Reply
  9. Anni

    I’ve been a server, and i’ve been pregnant. Ive even been pregnant while I was a server. And I can say unequivocally, the the woman is wrong. If she cant taste the liquor on the first sip, girlfriend has been drinking all along. When you are pregnant, you can taste and smell everything. Especially if you have been allegedly abstaining from alcohol for a period of time, you can definitely taste it.

    At my first waitressing job many years ago, a pregnant woman ordered a beer and I chuckled. As in “oh, hahaha, you surely must be joking.” She wasn’t joking, and complained to my manager that I made her feel bad and then when on a tirade about how her doctor says it was OK, blah blah. Lesson learned.

    Since then I’ve served countless pregnant women booze. I think its terrible. But there is nothing I can do about it. And I am not going to lose my job, the job I need to feed my own child, so I can tell you how to take care of yours.

    Your server is not the morality police. Your husband is a moron. You love attention and drama.
    Case closed.

    Reply
  10. Mimoza

    Listen, one alcoholic beverage isn’t going to abort her baby. Also, a few sips of alcohol isn’t going to make her kid brain dead. My dad use to let us take a sip of his beer if we asked, and I’m going through college with a scholarship. I’m sure my father’s mother (1960’s housewife) use to drink AND smoke when she was pregnant with him (her and the rest of the mothers in the 60’s). I’m not saying doing this on a consistent basis is a GOOD thing or GOOD for your kid, but one drink isn’t really going to effect the baby… someone is having a panic attack for no reason. Seriously, lady, chill out. Also, wouldn’t you have tasted the alcohol in the drink? Like seriously… after the first sip? No? WOW.

    Reply
    1. ShezAnEnigma

      Maybe one alcoholic drink wont hurt the baby, that is not the point, the point is, they were not informed of the alcohol content. The woman has a right to be upset. The server wanted an alcohol sale. She probably didnt notice the lady was pregnant until after the drink was in, and then she was like “Oh, oh well…” and shrugged hoping they would never notice. and she would still get that sale.

      Reply
  11. Casey

    When we order flavored lemonades at my job, they come from the bar, and they have no free refills. I’m guessing if it didn’t taste like alcohol, it quite possibly was just a flavored lemonade. A manager isn’t going to argue with a pregnant woman, just smile, nod, and do what he can to get her out of there. As for her darling daughter taking a sip, I can name quite a few people who have had bourbon rubbed on their gums when they were teething to numb the pain and let them sleep. Some people need to just calm down and stop overreacting

    Reply
  12. John P

    IMO, this is the servers fault. Lemonade is a non alcoholic beverage, why would you suggest an alcoholic one to replace it. If I ordered an iced tea and you didn’t have it, would you recommend to me raspberry iced tea and assume that I know whether or not there is alcohol in it? (I would assume it wouldn’t based on my request)
    Most restaurants do not have comprehensive beverage menus when it comes to sodas, and juices. Also, the fact that the alcohol was for someone not present should have been the first indicator that she should have said something to the lady once she returned. Hate to say it, but I think for once, the customer is right. Aside from the alcohol part, there isn’t much more the company can do other than comp the bill or apologize.

    Reply
  13. Headset Hellion

    BW, this is the first time that I have to disagree with you. Her husband didn’t order lemonade from the cocktail menu. I’ve been to restaurants where I’ve ordered a lemonade and the server asks, “Would you like regular, or strawberry lemonade?” I assume both are non-alcoholic, and I’m sure the husband felt the same way when he was offered the raspberry lemonade. I do understand why the server didn’t bring it to the woman’s attention after realizing she was pregnant (damned if you do, damned if you don’t) but the whole scene could have been avoided. This was a poor upsell by the server.

    Reply
  14. Jd

    This is the server’s fault. I hate to say it. I’ve had this happen before when coffee turns into “Mexican” coffee that’s spiked with Kaluhua. In that case, I tasted and realized and just let it slide. I wasn’t preggo nor did I share it with my kids.
    I think for an average person raspberry lemonade is a non alcoholic drink. I get the upsell but this is really a crappy way to get a bigger tip.

    Couldn’t she have avoided it but slipping the word “cocktail” at some point? If the kid got sick or something would the restaurant be liable?

    Reply
  15. Erin

    Because we weren’t there, and because the person telling the story has already decided she and her “DH” are totally blameless and that the restaurant is run by idiots who want to give pregnant women FAS, it’s hard to judge. I can totally imagine that dude spacing out to the fact that the waitress told him it was an alcoholic beverage. We’ve all had those conversations with someone where you ask a question and you get back a response so NOT related to what you just asked that you realize they weren’t listening at all. Or, like many other commenters have said, the waitress just assumed he read the menu (but you know what happens when you assume…). Or maybe the server heard what she wanted to. One time at dinner my husband ordered a strawberry margarita (on the cocktail menu). The server brought a strawberry martini (NOT on the cocktail menu). L said, “I wanted a margarita.” The server said, “You said martini.” L said, “No and why would I say that anyway? It’s not even on the menu.”

    Reply
  16. ShezAnEnigma

    The man asked what was there to drink, I as a server would have given non alcoholic choices ending with an alcoholic choice, letting him know it was alcoholic. The server wanted that alcohol sale. She should have been reprimanded, and seriously I think the woman had a right to be upset, She was unaware that the drink was alcoholic and she is 8 months pregnant, and she gave some to the 18 month old. The server did not care because she made that alcohol sale. BUT I want to say, cold she not taste the alcohol? I would have taken one sip and been “Woo woo…whats up with this drink?”

    Reply
  17. Robert

    If DD was ordering from a drink menu then your post is spot on.

    It really sounds from the story that this was not the case. DD asks if they have lemonade. Server says no but we do have raspberry lemonade. DD says that will be fine.

    No mention on the servers part that the raspberry lemonade has alcohol in it.

    Let’s put it this way; if I ask for a Pepsi and I am told sorry we only have Coca Cola and I say fine I’ll have the Coke, I do not expect to be served a rum and coke!

    Reply
  18. Jen

    As long as the customer of age and not drunk, I don’t think it’s any of the server’s business what someone drinks. I literally had two glasses of wine during my entire pregnancy (in the third trimester, with my doctor’s permission!), but when I contemplated my choices at a restaurant one night, the server said, before I ordered, “Well, since you can’t drink, do you want a soda?” Huh? As it happens, I was planning to have a small glass of really good wine with my family, not get shit-faced and give me kid fetal alcohol syndrome. But I was too embarrassed at that point so I ordered a water. I can understand getting upset if a pregnant customer is knocking down Long Island iced teas, but kids don’t get brain damage from a few drinks (total) in late pregnancy. Americans are too fucking puritanical.

    Reply
  19. chrissy

    BW I’m so surprise at your point of view.

    That poor woman – she wasn’t freaking out for the fun of it! Maybe it was an over reaction but clearly they were genuinely upset.

    You just don’t know people’s history. Maybe it’s her first pregnancy, maybe she’s had miscarriages. Maybe her stomach was empty and it’s the first booze she’s had in 8 months so it will affect the baby.

    In what universe does someone substitute an alcoholic drink after a lemonade is requested? I’m not going to scour the menu if I just want a coke am I? It’s a generic, widely available drink.

    Reply

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