New Jersey restaurant Barnacle Bill’s will no longer serve its trademark peanuts, cooked in an antique brass roaster and served in small wooden bowls.
For more than 30 years, customers have been invited to serve themselves a bowl of peanuts and toss the shells on the floor when they’re done, adding a crunchy carpet of litter in the rustic diner.
In ending the free peanut policy, owner Todd Sherman cited concerns about peanut allergies and slip-and-fall claims filed by diners who have slipped on the layer of shells constantly coating the floor.
Sherman explained: “The peanuts are done. It’s a bold move for us, man, it’s a brave move on our part and we’re going to see how it goes.”
The change already seems to be drawing controversy, with more than 450 comments about the new policy on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “If you are dumb enough to go in there with a peanut allergy or walking difficulty, then you deserve your trip to the ER,” reads one comment.
Concerns over Allergies, Lawsuits
Sherman says he’s heard from long-time customers who say they can’t return because they have children with peanut allergies. In addition to peanut allergy concerns, the restaurant is concerned about lawsuits over slip-and-fall cases. In the past several years, the restaurant has been sued three times by customers who fell on peanut shells. “Every time they slip and fall they blame it on the peanuts,” Sherman said.
Do you think other restaurants will follow suit, ending the practice of serving peanuts to every table?