Children drank alcohol at Cincinnati area Outback Steakhouse

MASON, OH (FOX19) - Kim Ehrhart and her two children vacationed at Kings Island this weekend, after making the trip from Michigan with her sister's family. But a lunch break to the Outback Steakhouse nearby would quickly change what should have been a family friendly visit to the Tri-State.

Kim Ehrhart, her 15-year-old son Jimmy and her 13-year-old daughter Jessica were with Kim's sister, brother in-law and their 4-year-old child Graceland, having a meal at the Outback Steakhouse in Mason this weekend.

According to Kim, they were waiting to be seated when a waitress walked up and offered drink samples. Kim says they were slushy-like drinks served in little cups. Kim's sister, Kelly Kerwin, and her husband asked if there was alcohol in the drinks and the server said, 'No.' The kids took a couple of samples each. The group later learned that the drinks did, however, contain alcohol.

"The kids drank a couple of them and we had one, and instantly I felt my face go flush and I told my sister I said, 'You know what, I think that these have alcohol in them,'" said Kim.

After taking a closer look at the menu, and asking for the manager, the family learned the fruity peach flavored drink did in fact contain alcohol.

"We just couldn't believe it," said Kim.

Her teenage son and daughter, and 4-year-old niece had already had two of the drinks; equivalent to a couple of shots of alcohol. Ehrhart said after returning to Kings Island, her daughter was throwing up and broke out in hives.

"I'm really disappointed that they served alcohol inside these drinks after we even asked, 'These don't have alcohol in them, do they?' And they said, 'no,'" said Ehrhart.

The manager apologized and the meals were on the house. They even got a call from the restaurant's owner who also apologized but then directed the family to the Outback Steakhouse legal department.

Outback Steakhouse released the following statement to FOX19

We were serving samples of one of our specialty cocktails to adults waiting to be seated. Our server failed to inform the adults in the Kerwin family that the drink contained alcohol. A member of the family then gave the sample to two of their children. 

Our server gave samples only to the adults in the Kerwin party and was not present when the adults gave the samples to the children. Regardless, we should have informed the adults that the samples contained alcohol.

Outback officials say the waitress who served the drinks has been fired.

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