Bucs’ concession vendor served water as booze

November 26th, 2014 by Staff

The complaints came in following the Bucs' home game against Atlanta.

(WFLA – News Channel 8) TAMPA – As the Buccaneers stumbled their way to another loss, November 9th, against the Atlanta Falcons, their concessions vendor, Aramark, also dropped the ball.

Troy Sykes was at a bar, on the Club level of Raymond James Stadium, when he and a friend ordered some Tequila.

“The ladies next to us were drinking Cuervo, and we asked for a couple of shots of Cuervo. When they gave them to us, we took them and they were colored water. That’s all it was,” Sykes stated.
Troy and a pal ran straight up the middle, to the bar. With his cell phone recording, he registered a complaint.

“Don’t move,” one of the bartenders told him.

“Yeah, don’t move. That whole thing is full of water,” Troy is heard saying on the recording. “Can I see that bottle? Do you service that to people?” he asked.

The bar served it to Troy. According to alcohol industry attorney Elizabeth DeConti, that is an illegal procedure.

“When I hear that someone has been served water from an alcoholic beverage bottle that has a label on it, that’s not legal. But usually that happens because of negligent mistake.” DeConti said. “Someone thought that they were decorating their bar with this bottle and they ended up serving someone by accident.”

That, according to Aramark spokesperson Dave Freireich, is exactly what happened.

“What occurred was an honest mistake,” Freireich explained.

The manager quickly refunded Troy’s money.

His cell phone recording shows Troy asked the manager how many bottles on display at the back of the bar contain water.

“Every liquor that I sell in house, I put it on display in the back,” she replied.

“All full of water?” Troy asked.

“Um hmm,” she said.

Troy then asked how long the colored water was sitting in the Cuervo bottle.

“This morning, about 8 o’clock,” she told him.

Aramark’s Freireich explained colored water in liquor bottles for display purposes is a fairly standard practice.

According to DeConti, state alcohol and tobacco inspectors could flag Aramark for that too.

“It is against the law in Florida to sell, or to fill a branded bottle with colored water,” DeConti added.
Aramark’s Feireich contends his team has never encountered something like this before. Aramark, he claims, will immediately change its procedures and use the real liquor for display behind the bar.

Troy doesn’t care about that so much as he does being served what he pays for.

“You’ve got 100,000 people in that stadium or 60,000 people in there, if they want to drink they should be able to drink, get what they pay for,” he said. “Also, from what I understand, because I am a Dolphins fans, to see the Bucs play, you have to have a lot of alcohol in your system.”

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