Mrs. Doubtfire to the Rescue

The Restaurant Industry According to Hollywood #30

There is nothing more terrifying than someone choking in your restaurant. It happens more often than you would expect and it’s a terrible scene to have played out in your dining room or bar. So, if Robin Williams is portraying it, you know it is all about comedy first…and emergency, not so much. This scene, from Mrs. Doubtfire, does a great job of depicting the steps that cause many choking victims to really get in trouble.

The spice causes an inhalation and the food gets lodged. Then, the well-meaning bystander, slaps the back as the food gets forced dangerously downward. Finally, a restaurant employee that has been trained in the Heimlich maneuver comes to the rescue. It’s a story none of us want really want to watch take place in our restaurants, but we should still be prepared. Make sure you have signs posted with instructions on the Heimlich and periodically you can ask any local organization that provides training like the local Red Cross a Hospital to refresh your staff. You could even turn Heimlich training into a promotion that you share with guests. Sounds a little melodramatic to be sure, but why not benefit from being prepared?