Gogglebox Malone family visit Karen's Diner
TikTok/@tommalone_jr

Karen's Diner has been accused of making a "body shaming" comment by a customer who was filmed confronting a staff member about it and many online agree the restaurant staff have gone "too far."

The controversial restaurant which has chains located in Australia, the UK and US is known for being deliberately rude to staff as part of an interactive dining experience for customers.

Bec Hardgrave (@bechardgrave), a health coach from Queensland decided to record her experience at Karen's Diner in Brisbane but didn't give the place a glowing review.

"Me and my friends went to Karen’s diner and safe to say I probably won’t come back," she said at the beginning of the video before sharing what happened on her visit there.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

"I know they get paid to be mean to you but it was a little too hectic. They were making offensive comments about people’s appearances and they told my friend she needed to brush her hair. How mean is that?

"They told my other friend that she’s too old and they threw cups at us."

Hardgrave continued: "They got this group of older ladies to leave, like stand up and leave. They said to leave over the mic and they had an alarm blaring and the ladies actually got up and left, I’m not sure if they paid or not.

"The food was OK but get this, they told this guy he had a receding hairline and this is what he did…"

It then cuts to a clip of a guy confronting a staff member as he shouted: "That’s the one thing your f***ing sign says – no body shaming."

"The guy at the end was sooo out of line!" Hardgrave wrote in the video caption, and added in on-screen text how she "felt so bad for the staff at this point."

@bechardgrave

The guy at the end was sooo out of line! #karensdiner #restaurantreview #brisbane


Since posting her experience at Karen's Diner, Hardgrave's video has gone viral with 4m views, 538,000 likes and thousands of comments from people who were divided about the situation.

Some believed that this is what to expect in a Karen's Diner and so customers shouldn't be offended by staff.

One person said: "You should all know the risks before entering. If you’re too soft, don’t eat there."

"Do people not understand the concept on this place? If you’re going to get offended and mad, don’t go- simple," another person wrote.

Someone else replied: "JUST DONT GO THERE IF UR SOFT LMFAOOO THEY'RE LITERALLY PAID TO DO THAT LMFAOO"

While others felt that the restaurant has gone "too far" and believe staff are on a "power trip" and accused them of bullying customers rather than acting like Karen's.

One person said: "Karen's diner needs to end, the whole thing is a mess. They break their own rules and boundaries and then act surprised when people are upset."

"Karen’s diner kind of reminds me of the Stanford prison experiment- like it started off a funny little quirky thing and now the staff on a power trip," another person wrote.

Someone else added: "I’ve heard so many stories about them going too far so many times. I think they’re just getting a power trip"

"There’s a difference between Karen’s and bullies," a fourth person replied, as another commenter similarly agreed: "They have lost the concept of what a ‘Karen’ actually is."

According to the restaurant's website, the house rules are: "Karen’s Diner is a unique, interactive dining experience but in order to maintain a shred of sanity here, we have some rules. Breaking these rules will result in your table being asked to pay the bill and leave the venue. You will also be banned from returning to the venue. We want both staff and customers to feel as safe as possible in our venues."

In a bullet point list, the rules also state what is not permitted which include "No racist, sexist, homophobic or ableist comments," "No body shaming," and "No sexual harassment."

Meanwhile, Hardgrave gave an update in a follow-up TikTok where she provided more details about the customer who confronted the staff member and explained how the customer himself commented on her video about what happened.

"The guy who was in the fight commented on the original video and he told me I had it wrong," she said.


@bechardgrave

Replying to @N PART 2 #karensdiner #shocked #brisbane #restaurantreviee

"So apparently the lady that worked at Karen's Diner waitress told him that he had a receding hairline, he then said 'you can't say that to me that's body shaming,' and then she threw a cup of water in his face," but Hardgrave gave the disclaimer that she doesn't know if that happened as she didn't see this herself.

She then explained how she filmed the guy's reaction to the water being thrown on him as she shared the entire clip where he says: "That fat f***ing b***h has the right to talk about my hairline? F***ing seriously," while someone else off-camera shouted: "No body shaming!" (it's unclear whether this is a staff member or customer) prompting laughter.

"No, you can call the police because I've just been assaulted," the guy added, as he told staff to go "F*** themselves" and appeared to throw a water bottle at their countertop on his way out.

indy100 has contacted Karen's Diner for comment.

It's not the first time Karen's Diner has come under fire after the restaurant apologised back in July for calling a customer a "paedo."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)