LONDON – A London restaurant has asked diners to sign away their right to sue before consuming Christmas pudding, a traditional Yuletide treat which sometimes contains coins or charms.
Neleen Strauss, the owner of High Timber in east London, acknowledged that the idea was a bit silly but she said she would rather be safe than sorry.
"It has created a bit of a stir in the restaurant and people looked at it disbelieving at first," she said Thursday. "I thought it was going to be a pain but decided to do it to cover my backside."
Recipes for Christmas pudding — sometimes known as a plum pudding — are varied, but generally involve a rich boiled or steamed mixture larded with fruits and spices.
Traditionally silver coins are hidden in the mix so that some portions have them and others don't.
Finding one in your pudding is supposed to attract luck, but Strauss said she was told it could also bring chipped teeth — and lawsuits.
"A lot of my customers are lawyers and they suggested it," she said. "It is a bit crazy but I decided to take their advice."
Getting customers to sign on the dotted line before reaching for their fork and knife isn't that unusual.
Several restaurants in the U.K. and elsewhere have asked patrons to fill out forms before consuming rare meat, and last year the Corner Tap pub in Chicago managed to attract national attention by promising chicken wings so spicy customers had to sign a waiver before eating them.