Aretha Franklin got into a screaming fight with a Johnny Rockets employee over eating a takeout burger in the restaurant, it has been revealed.
According to the R E S P E C T singer’s spokesperson, the incident occurred this week at the Johnny Rockets branch in the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls.
Franklin, who had just finished a performance in nearby Lewiston, N.Y., ordered a takeout hamburger … but decided to eat it inside. That was when an employee walked up to her and screamed that she is not allowed to eat the burger in the restaurant according to the takeout policy.
From NY Daily News:
She ordered her usual — a hamburger and cherry coke to go. Then she sat down at one of the restaurant’s many empty tables and waited for the food.
Out of nowhere, a worker in her mid-30s showed up and told Franklin, “You can’t sit there.”
“I said, ‘Excuse me, what do you mean I can’t sit here?” recalled Franklin, who was with her nephew at the time.
The worker told Franklin the seating area is only for people who are eating in.
Franklin stayed calm. “I said, ‘Ok, I’ll have it here,” she recalled.
The 72-year-old singing sensation said she was shocked by the worker’s reply: “You can’t have it here because we’ve already rang you up as a takeout customer.”
What came next was even more insulting, Franklin said.
The worker ordered her to get up and stand outside the perimeter of the eatery, which was in a food court.
Franklin wasn’t having it.
“I got up and walked out,” she said. “I said, ‘You should eat it yourself and you pay for it.’ ”
“My nephew mentioned to her who I was,” Franklin added, “and she said she didn’t care who I was.”
In a statement, Franklin described the employee as ‘very rude, unprofessional and nasty.’
Johnny Rockets has apologized to Franklin over the conduct of the ‘new and very young employee’, saying that they have educated the worker about the restaurant’s takeout policies.