Who Should Pay If A Bird Poops In Your Food?

This isn’t the most seasonally appropriate question to ask, at least here in the Northeastern U.S. And in the Northern Hemisphere. Perhaps it’s important (yet disgusting) enough that we can argue about it until springtime.

Simply put: if a bird relieves itself in your food while you’re dining outside, should the restaurant comp your meal?

Here’s reader Jupiterdog’s original query on the subject.

So, when eating at an outdoor cafe, who is responsible for the cost of a new entree if a bird poops on your meal?

I know there is a legal concept called “assumption of the risk,” but who, legally, is assuming the risk that a meal will be spoiled by bird crap? The restaurant, who knows there is a chance a customer’s meal will be spoiled by bird droppings, or the customer, who also knows the risks? The restaurant is more capable of mitigating the risk with fake owls or strategically placed umbrellas, but the customer can also mitigate the risk by dining indoors, or elsewhere altogether.