The internet is fully supporting a server who gave a “surprise” dessert to a recovering alcoholic that included alcohol without realizing the complexity of the situation.
The Reddit post, titled, “TIFU [Today I F**ked Up] by serving alcoholic dessert to [an] alcoholic,” has been upvoted 10,900 times since it was shared on May 3 to the subreddit.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that evidence finds that around 90 percent of alcoholics are “likely” to have a relapse during the four years after treatment.
The website also reported that in 2019, 25.8 percent of people who were 18 and older reported having participated in binge drinking in the past month. In addition, 6.3 percent admitted they participated in “heavy alcohol use” during the past month as well.
Redditor @countmontekristo relayed the situation in a short post, revealing they’re a server in a restaurant. On that particular day, the waiter had a party that included six patrons.
The original poster (OP) asked if they were celebrating anything, and the party replied back, “Yes! We’re celebrating Evie’s anniversary!”
When the server asked what type of anniversary it was, a woman replied, “A big graduation!” However, no further elaboration was given.
It’s the restaurant’s policy to bring out a “surprise dessert” to guests celebrating at the end of their meal. The OP brought out a “limoncello-based cake,” and they told the party what the cake was called, but not the ingredients in it.
The OP wrote: “Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Aren’t you supposed to list all the ingredients at your fancy pants spot?’ Sure…If we’re not currently swamped, or they reported allergies when asked at the beginning, or we actually know all the ingredients (this was a new special, and I was unable to attend the information meeting that day due to established obligations).”
However, when the OP asked their co-worker about the dessert, they were given a “flavor profile,” but the co-worker was “too busy for the details.”
Later on, the OP came back to the table, and the dessert was half-eaten. The woman who was celebrating asked, “Is there alcohol in this?”
The Redditor revealed that was indeed the case. “It’s one of the main ingredients, but not in any worrisome quantity,” they said. “It’s mostly just for flavoring.”
But she responded back, “I’m celebrating my one-year anniversary of being clean and sober.”
A few seconds of “awkward” silence ensued involving the waiter and the patrons staring at each other at the table before things concluded.
Over 1,000 comments poured in over the unfortunate situation, and the internet is rallying around the OP in support.
“Freelapsing” was brought up, or when one accidentally uses drugs or alcohol without meaning to. “Recovering addicts call this a freelapse,” a Redditor said. “Anything they do after that first bite is on them, not on you or your establishment.”
A commenter admitted they haven’t had an alcoholic beverage in 13 years, adding that the situation isn’t the server’s fault and that they “didn’t f**k up.”
“S**t like this happens to sober folks all the time,” they said. “We learn to roll with it. If she was bent out of shape, that’s on her. I hope you don’t beat yourself up over it.”
Another Redditor revealed they did the same thing when waitressing around nine or 10 years ago. They served a “black forest cake” to a table full of people from AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] that were celebrating a “sober anniversary.” However, the cake was “soaked in cherry liqueur.”
“It’s one of my standout, vivid memories from years of waitressing,” they added. “That said, a sober friend told me it doesn’t ‘count’ because the sober person didn’t purposely consume alcohol. Basically, intention matters. So, I felt a little better hearing that.”
One Redditor called the situation an “innocent f**k up” on the server’s part, adding, “Oof. But I wouldn’t let it weigh on your conscience.”
While another Reddit user revealed the same situation happened to them a year after being sober. They admitted they “freaked out,” and called people in their program, “and they were all like ‘Do you wanna drink? No? Well, enjoy the d**n desert.’ Coming up on six years now, and the only thing I stay vigilant on is actual drinks.”
A Redditor chimed in to reveal they felt “it was on” the woman to tell the waiter about the situation. “If I was allergic to nuts it’s the first thing I’d say to the server at any restaurant,” they figured. “It’s better to avoid anaphylaxis (or alcohol relapse) than to leave it to chance and then play the victim!”
Yet another person is backing the OP, and they didn’t think they’re at fault. The woman didn’t explain more about the anniversary, and she didn’t ask about the ingredients either.
The Redditor added, “Which is on her if she’s avoiding something that isn’t a known allergen, and it’s not enough alcohol to warrant IDing for. How the hell were you supposed to know unless you were told?”
However, another Redditor admitted they were “confused,” as they haven’t heard of a restaurant serving “alcoholic items” without checking that it’s alright first.
“Not just whether or not the person in question is of legal age to consume alcohol, but also if the person even wants alcohol to begin with,” they added. “I feel like this is why most restaurants I’ve been to have played it safe with the ‘free’ desserts, serving a basic fruit tart or a slice of chocolate cake or something.”
Newsweek reached out to Redditor @countmontekristo for comment.
This isn’t the only viral moment involving restaurants and servers. A man got a server fired over a TikTok video posted that mocked his mother. A server received a low tip of less than $7 on a $73 bill. In addition, the internet bashed a man for not leaving a tip after a restaurant wouldn’t serve his wife alcohol.