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Jul 7, 2007 06:14 PM

Fly in wine norms? [moved from Ontario board]

Question... So yesterday some friends and I were dining at Habitat for their summerlicious and split a bottle of wine with dinner. A small fly landed in my friend's glass of wine (it was maybe two thirds full) so we asked for a new glass. She was given a new glass and the remaining wine from our bottle was poured into the glass. The full cost of the wine was on our bill and no offer was made by the waitstaff to comp my friend a glass of wine (house wine would have been fine). Two more flies landed in her new full wine glass shortly, and my friends and I offered to pay for a glass of wine for her but she declined, saying she had enough. We were sitting inside but the doors were open... not like we were sitting on the patio.

My question is, should they have comped my friend a glass of wine? What is the norm for when a fly lands in your wine glass? Should we have complained? We ended up not tipping on the wine, however, I'm not sure they got the message, they may have just thought we were cheap.

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  1. This is a good question. I don't know that there's a single answer on this, but here's my take, as a customer. Flies aren't the restaurant's responsibility, in summer, when windows, and doors, are open. My response, when a fly lands in my glass, is "Oh F***", scoop it out, and then you can either order a new glass (and pay for it) or continue drinking the wine (usually what I do). I think, as well, that since flies had presented themselves as a problem already, and she allowed two more flies into her glass, it certainly made it her problem, not the resto's to the point of comping her repeated glasses. Although, that said, that's the origin of tapas - covering the glass. Why not ask for a coaster?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hungry_pangolin

      She "allowed" two more flies to get into her glass? Meaning what, that she didn't keep her hand over the top of her glass the whole time?


      Flies inside the restaurant are the restaurant's problem. The idea that there were *so many* flies, uh, *inside" the resto means the resto *really* had a serious unmanaged problem. Flies, uh, lay eggs. Lots of places in a resto (garbage, etc.) flies like. When the maggots hatch, lots of flies. Inside. Oh my. Appetizing.

      At the very least, two glasses of wine from the wine-by-the-glass list should have been comped, otherwise half the price of the bottle of wine or the entire bottle should have been comped.

      Fishing a fly out of a liquid and then drinking it? Small fruitfly maybe OK, but regular fly?

      Last comment goes to Amber: Why oh why didn't you or your friend speak up to the manager??

      Bottom line: The diners didn't have a good experience at Habitat, Habitat comes off looking like it's got a sanitation problem, and neither of you want to return to the resto.
      The bad publicity alone is a killer. Perhaps print this thread and share it with the manager. Next time, speak up!

    2. A fly in my alcoholic drink would certainly not keep me from drinking it. I wonder why they liked her glass so much more than the others at the table. THREE in a row and you were indoors? Not a good sign.

      I can't tell from your original post whether you made the server aware that the other uninvited guests landed in her new glass. If so, I would expect a comp since there was an obvious problem. If not, one fly does not a free glass make, in my opinion.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mojoeater

        I'd have been more concerned had the door been closed, but the OP mentions the door being open, presumably because of the weather, so it is like sitting outside. Fortunes of war.

      2. After the first fly, I'd be draping my napkin over the glass. I can understand the outrage if you were at a restaurant without any open windows, but in the summer when the windows are open you just deal with it. If this kind of thing really bothers you, just dine at places that are tightly shut, or have window screens. Should the restaurant have comped? If they wanted to be extra nice, sure, but I'd never expect it.

        1. Since you were inside, I would have expected replacement wine (not the same as comping it, there would be no change to your bill, but more wine in place of the ruined glass). Not your choice to have the doors open I presume. Maybe the restaurant did not OWE you, but it would have been the gracious thing to do. If they find themselves doing it too often, they should rethink the open-door policy.
          We had a fly land in my friend's mimosa on Allen's patio, and it was replaced immediately... with the suggestion that she cover her glass with a coaster.

          1. Was it a big nasty fly or was it a fruit fly? I am assuming it was a fruit fly, they LOVE wine. You've got to put a coaster or a napkin over your drink if there is a way for flies to get into your glass (waiter should have suggested this after the first fly). Also don't forget to lightly put the cork on your bottle too. Those fruit flies will file in like soldiers. Just one or two flies you can pick out, but when they get in that bottle you can get 5 or 6 or 10.... it gets out of control.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Lemonii

              seems unfair to penalise the restaurant if a fly falls into your wine or food if you are sitting outside or in warm weather when doors and windows are open. It can hardly be their fault can it?

                1. re: smartie

                  Thirding this one. If the doors are open, its actually very much like you're sitting on the patio and you have to sort of treat it the same way I think.