Aretha Franklin Gets Disrespected by Waitress at Restaurant

Legendary singer was asked to leave casual-dining chain.

Posted: 07/28/2014 10:45 AM EDT

Aretha Franklin's burger order at a casual dining restaurant came with a side of beef. A waitress at a Johnny Rockets in Ontario, Canada, is now in trouble for disrespecting the Queen of Soul. Franklin revealed to the New York Daily News on Sunday that the waitress was "rude and nasty" to her when she was trying to enjoy a post-show meal.

After a sold-out performance, Franklin looked forward to indulging in a burger and a cherry Coke at her favorite eatery. Franklin says she ordered the meal to go, and then sat down at one of the restaurant’s many empty tables and waited for the food.

Out of nowhere, a worker 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. When Franklin tried to change her order to eat-in, the worker rebutted, “You can’t have it here because we’ve already rang you up as a takeout customer.”

The worst insult was yet to come, Franklin said. The worker ordered her to get up and stand outside the perimeter of the eatery, which was in a food court.

“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.”

The experience left Franklin with a terrible taste in her mouth. Her burger-slinging antagonist was “so rude and nasty,” Franklin said. “She’s a public servant and she shouldn’t speak that way to anybody, celebrities or non-celebrities.” 

A Johnny Rockets spokeswoman says the franchise owner is sorry for the actions of “a new and very young employee.” She added that the owner has spoken with the employee and has clarified his takeout policies.

Franklin said she doesn’t believe the worker should be fired, just “spoken to.”

“I like Johnny Rockets and I’ll go on liking Johnny Rockets, but not that one,” Franklin said.

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(Photo: Larry French/BET/Getty Images for BET)

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