I ate glass at Planet Hollywood

Markus Gann/Shutterstock

Nathalie Poulin gets a mouthful of glass when she takes a sip of her milkshake at a Planet Hollywood restaurant. Now what?

Question: My family and I stayed at the Disney Pop Century Resort in February. We had a reservation at the Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney one evening. When the waiter came to ask what we would like to drink I ordered a chocolate frappe.

I checked on the menu and I realized there is coffee in a frappe. Before the frappe was even given to me I cancelled it. I apologized and explained that I thought a frappe was a milkshake (which in French is a lait frappe), and that I wanted a milkshake instead.

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When I received my chocolate milkshake, I swallowed 3 or 4 sips during which I felt chunks and then liquid. I thought those chunks where pieces of icy milkshake. When I decided to chew on what I thought was ice, I realized that the ice was not melting in my mouth.

It was glass.

I had a lot of little pieces of glass in my mouth mixed with the liquid. I had to spit it out because I was afraid the glass would go down my throat with the liquid. I even had some pieces of glass stuck in my teeth that were difficult to get out. I had to ask for a toothpick and with that toothpick I took out a small piece of glass in front of the manager and the chef’s eyes.

The worst part is that my six-year-old daughter also had tasted the milkshake.

The paramedics were also called, the manager asked me to follow him downstairs so that the paramedics could meet me there and not in front of the other patrons. I followed him and waited for the paramedics in the office while the rest of my family was eating dinner without me. They took my blood pressure, which was really high at that point. They examined my mouth and they told me to look out for blood in the next few days.

The chef showed me the milkshake with a plastic Saran Wrap over it and told me “this is for the report”. I demand to be provided with a copy of that report. I want to know what happened in that kitchen and why did I end up with glass in my milkshake.

It is unacceptable that Planet Hollywood would serve glass in a beverage and endanger my health and the health of my daughter. I want to make sure that this will not happen again and that Walt Disney World will take action to prevent such accident to happen again in the future. — Nathalie Poulin, L’Épiphanie, Canada

Answer: Glass is not an acceptable ingredient in a milkshake, no matter where you order it or under what circumstances. For what it’s worth, I seriously doubt anyone would intentionally sabotage a beverage ordered at one of the most popular theme parks in the world.

If there was a report filed, then you can be assured that everyone at Planet Hollywood – and all the right people at Disney, for that matter – know about this incident and have taken steps to correct it. But I wanted to make sure, so my resolutions team and I provided you with email contacts at both companies and suggested that you send a brief, polite email to them, outlining the problem you experienced.

You received responses from Disney and Planet Hollywood, which eventually put you in touch with its insurance company to file a formal complaint.

As an apology, Planet Hollywood had already given you two T-shirts for your daughters, four logo glasses (ironically) and comped your restaurant bill. They also apologized to you in person.

It appears you didn’t sign anything indicating that these items compensated you for the incident, so it will be up to the insurance company to determine the kind of damage you suffered and what kind of additional compensation, if any, you’re entitled to. In the end, an insurance company representative offered you $500 to settle your claim.

As a sidenote, if something like this happens again – and that would be truly unfortunate — you don’t want to rely on the restaurant’s report, which it probably won’t share with you unless you sue it. Take your own photos and notes, and document any kind of medical problems you have afterwards. Those could make any potential claim far easier.

Did Planet Hollywood offer Nathalie Poulin enough compensation?

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43 thoughts on “I ate glass at Planet Hollywood

  1. What does she want you to do “to make sure that this will not happen again and that Walt Disney World will take action to prevent such accident to happen again in the future.”

    This just sounds like another open-ended fishing expedition.

    1. Yep, If I’m reading between the lines, the only way they can “make sure that this will not happen again and that Walt Disney World will take action to prevent such accident to happen again in the future” is through a personal visit and inspection next winter….on Disney and Planet Hollywood’s dime.

  2. It seems she thinks the better way to ensure it won’t happen again is receiving more money from Planet Hollywood…

    1. In her request, no where did she say “Can you get me money?” so making the assumption she’s after money is putting words in her mouth. Seemed to me that all she was asking for was to see if Chris could get a copy of the report… but it also appeared she didn’t followup with the companies herself before reaching out to Chris and his team.

      Nothing nefarious here.

      1. No, she doesn’t directly mention money. But she certainly includes a lot of info that has no real connection to the incident. (She was staying at the Pop Century Resort? Totally irrelevant.) And why is she seemingly more concerned with Disney keeping this from happening again as opposed to the restaurant which actually caused the problem? If this had happened to her in a strip mall back home would she be hunting down the landlord?

        And I totally agree with you that it’s quite odd that she is this upset yet did almost nothing to follow up on things on her own. It’s unfortunate this happened to her but it’s a bit off-putting how she presents the story. I can see where people are getting the impression she’s looking for a handout.

  3. ” I want to make sure that this will not happen again and that Walt Disney World will take action to prevent such accident to happen again in the future.”

    I can’t imagine that Disney has any desire whatsoever for this to happen again. I doubt they need the OP to insist on it.

    Side note: Planet Hollywood at Downtown Disney ranks as the worst dining experience in my life, as well as the rest of my family’s lives. It wasn’t the food or the service, which was just fine. The problem was the dining environment – I assume that, after a long day of standing in line in the hot sun, they intend for you to feed your family in a giant, cacophonous environment surrounded by statues of bug-eyed monsters. It really didn’t work for us. We finally had to get our food delivered in takeout boxes so we could eat at a picnic table outside. The staff went above and beyond to help us – I think they understood what we were going through. I bet we weren’t the first that were overcome but he place…I still can’t say the name out loud in my house, for fear of triggering flashbacks.

  4. I’m not sure what the OP is looking for.
    1) I’m pretty sure the Planet Hollywood is an independent business at DTD so WDW role is mainly landlord. Still… Disney isn’t going to want to be associated with this so they’re going to make sure that the right steps are followed.
    2) There’s no corporate entity in this country that’s willingly providing that report. If you want it to be what it should be (a fact finding report with anything out of order), its also a road map for any FL injury attorney willing to sue for 75% of the judgement … If she wants that report, shes going to have to take legal steps to get it.
    3) Beyond embarrassing Planet Hollywood, who don’t need any help in being an embarrassment, or Disney, I’m not sure what a member of the media is supposed to do here.

    I’m glad the OP has suffered to ill effects.

  5. I doubt this was done intentionally…at least I hope not. So unfortunately bad things happen. Glasses break, they don’t last forever. Sucks that it happened to anyone, but I can’t see what else is to be done.

  6. This is the first time I haven’t been able to vote. I just don’t know what to make of it or what she wanted you to do. Of course chewing on glass is horrible but going downstairs, alone with the manager, to wait in the office for the paramedics to arrive, “while the rest of my family was eating dinner without me” is just plain baffling! Here the poor dear is afraid she may have glass and cuts in her mouth or worse, so upset that the paramedics are called and the rest of her family continues to eat? Something doesn’t sound right here….

    1. Also interesting that in the letter she’s very concerned that her daughter also had some of the milkshake. Yet apparently the OP herself was the only one the paramedics looked at. So, even at the time of the incident the OP seems to have not been all that concerned that the daughter had actually been harmed. That concern seems to have grown since then.

  7. The assumption, which may be completely wrong, is that there should be some monetary compensation for every untoward event. News items in the media have established the erroneous idea by telling stories of large jury compensations or settlements when “something bad happens.”

    I remember being told of an incident by an executive of a well-known soup company who received a call from a customer who found a foul smelling mold in a newly opened can of soup. She contacted his office and asked for a few thousands of dollars in compensation. They had her bring the can to their office and asked he how much of it she had eaten.
    She replied, indignantly asking if they thought she was crazy, asking who in their right mind would eat something like that.

    She was disappointed that all they offered was a case of soup.

    If the woman with the glass had not suffered any damage or hurt, they the restaurant was generous and smart in the PR with what she was offered.

    1. That always bothers me. If you find something bad in your food, why does one expect a pay day? Especially if they weren’t harmed. I do expect them to pay the medical bills if she was harmed, but that’s about it. Heck, I am even in favor of paying for missed work, comping the meal and even offering a free one next time. But this pay day entitlement sense is baffling to me. The free case of soups sounds great!

      I ordered cheese form a dairy recently, and one package of cheese came with mold under the sealed wrapper. I called them, they apologized and sent someone to my house to retrieve it and give em new cheese. They were generally concerned about the fact that it was moldy yet sealed, they said they initially thought the seal may have broken. They called me later to say they are investigating their packaging process to see how air got introduced. I was so grateful they kept em in the loop and replaced it. If they had offered addition free cheese I would have accepted it, but the fact that they replaced it and investigated it made me feel they did enough.

  8. I worked for attorneys my whole life. She could have and maybe should have filed a formal complaint and asked an attorney. T-shirt is crap, couple of glasses and comped bill. The old “lawyer saying” is: “if you find a bug — you can report it. If you find half a bug (you’ve eaten the other half): SUE THEMM.”

  9. What is the relevance of the OP staying at the Pop Century Resort? Does she feel she has more standing in this case than if the same thing had happened to someone who was staying off Disney grounds? The inclusion of that info makes it sound like a fishing expedition where she’s looking for the deepest pockets. Planet Hollywood is an independent entity. Disney is essentially just the landlord for the space the restaurant is located.

    1. And whats with the frappe story? It sounds like she is high maintenance. Is she trying to make it sound like the glass was retaliatory.

      1. Maybe. Or she’s just one of those stream of consciousness people who has to include every single detail whether it’s relevant or not. (I wonder if they took the Disney bus system from Pop Century to Downtown Disney? And did the Magical Express bus pick them up at the airport?)

        1. That very well could be. I just interviewed someone for a job who is one of those types. The 30 minutes interview took 90 minutes. Wow! I did not need to hear about how successful your sons baseball team was int he 80s, didn’t even have to down with the question I asked.

          And I thinks he did take the Disney bus, and the funny thing is that the bus stopped after the turn into the entrance and she stood up because she though that’s where they should exit and really it just stopped to let a maintenance cart pass, and then it proceeded to move again and she almost fell over, which caused her family to laugh at her, and then when it did stop it was four buses back and they had a much longer walk to the bag search area and she didn’t realize they were going to search her bag and…

  10. Lawsuits don’t directly fix problems. Rigorous root cause analysis and corrective action do. There are very mature, well documented processes for aggressively fixing problems to reduce or eliminate the chance they might recur. I have led dozens of such investigations. Knowing this, as a consumer I have asked for evidence of rigorous corrective action when offered some palliative for getting me to shut up. “What are you going to do differently to ensure this problem does not arise again?” The response is usually a blank stare. In general, companies that serve the public can do much more to ensure that their corrective actions have a much greater degree of irreversibility to them.

  11. I am glad the OP was not injured, and I am glad the restaurant took the complaint seriously and the manager waited with her when the paramedics were coming. I am shocked that her family kept eating and didn’t go with her. I am not sure if the OP was fishing or not, but am surprised she got $500 for the short term scare. What happened was not acceptable, but I think it was handled quite well.

  12. I’m not sure what else she wants. This sort of thing has happened to just about everyone, I’m guessing. I got half cooked chicken at Cracker Barrel — the manager comped my meal and those of everyone in my group. I would have been happy with a replacement, but the comp was nice. I was eating a frozen juice bar and ended up with a mouthful of wood splinters where a stick had broken off inside the popsicle. I wrote a letter to the company and they sent me coupons for about 10 free boxes.

    I cut my lip on a chipped drinking glass at a restaurant and my meal was comped. I was happy with all these resolutions. Now, I look at the edges of my glasses, and call my server if one has a chip.

    This was a little more serious, even though no one was hurt. It had the potential to be really bad, though. I think the restaurant offered ample compensation –$500 was a nice check.

    I don’t know if she’s on a fishing expedition or not, but I think she’s been amply compensated for her experience, especially since she is uninjured.

  13. My husband broke a tooth on an olive pit that somehow found its way onto his subway sandwich. All my husband wanted was for subway to pay for his dental work. Their initial offer was $200. He sent them the dentist bill and told them, politely, that if the bill was not paid within ten days, they would be hearing from his attorney and he would also be asking for pain and suffering and attorneys fees. The bill was paid within 24 hours. I guess he should have also required every subway to check all of their olive stock for pits.

  14. I just don’t believe this story. It begins with her complaining about the menu and having to change her order. She implies that the glass was put in their to punish her somehow. I’m skeptical that any of this is true.

  15. If she really doesn’t want it to happen again she’d sue not for money but for a policy change to use only plastic? Ohhhh she wants them to pay through the nose to ensure that an accident doesn’t happen again. Got it. It is unfortunate but no kitchen would do that to a customer on purpose. They made sure, without asking, that they got the evidence (for lack of a better word) sealed up and gave it to her personally. I am not a disney person. I am not a chain person. But frankly it seems they were legitimately concerned for her safety (moving her to a discreet location is not shady in my opinion).

  16. How can you make sure that this doesn’t happen again or that Disney will take action to prevent such an accident from happening again in the future? Short of you standing there supervising the making of every milkshake, I don’t see what you can do.

  17. Some very interesting comments on this. My only question is “Is this the correct venue (Elliott.org) for a situation of this sort. And exactly, other than report on it, what is Chris supposed to do with this problem. My view is the restaurant did everything that they were supposed to do, and what else does she expect them to do? It’s a serious matter, and I’m sure they took it seriously. Maybe if they shot the manager, beat the shake maker, and flogged the dishwasher just for good luck, then things would be better.

  18. Oh, gee. Another someone fishing around for something for nothing. A couple of months ago I broke a tooth an something hard in a salad I had at Ruby Tuesdays. I mentioned it, they did nothing, I finished my meal (as well as possible – it hurt), and the next day had the tooth repaired – at my own cost. Incident over. Could they have been nicer? Sure. So what? Things happen. Grow up.

    1. Did the ‘something hard’ belong in the salad (like a crouton) or was it a foreign object?

      I’m all against counting on a big payday but if it was, say, a piece of glass, they should absolutely pay to have your tooth fixed.

      1. Yes, it would have been nice if they had responded better. My point was that stuff happens, and one should simply move on. Certainly, no one at the restaurant intentionally put something hard in the salad (never did find out what it was – I reflexively must have swallowed), and every incident just can’t be seen as an opportunity to “get something”.

  19. NO ONE can “pay” them for the time lost…she’ll never get it back. NO ONE can pay them for the possibility that she would endure further physical damage. NO ONE can pay them for the vacation that turned into a catastrophe. Strange that readers state they were amazed she didn’t document/takephotos/etc. When under such anxiety provoking situations, do NOT expect that your main concern is taking photos. I am not litigious but am astounded by the lack of insight and empathy for this person’s situation.

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