Former Hostess of Heart Attack Grill Tells All

Heart Attack GrillI guess we should expect unorthodox practices at a restaurant called Heart Attack Grill, but still, an ex-hostess's comments on Reddit are surprising. In an opening post, the former employee welcomes questions:

"I am an ex-Hostess of the controversial Heart Attack Grill. If you aren't familiar it's the restaurant located in Downtown Vegas who is known for their 9000 calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger, Butterfat Milkshakes, and the infamous "if you weigh 350 pounds you eat for free" gimmick. It is a hospital themed restaurant where all customers have to wear hospital gowns, and if you don't finish your food we spanked you with a paddle. Ask me anything!"

One jarring admission on the website (if it's true) is that the employee's manager had her video record a person who passed out in the restaurant:

"At one point, the man passed out. I heard him knock onto the hard ground. We had to call an ambulance. A manager made me take out my cell phone to record a video of the whole thing, so they could send it to the media. It was on a Friday afternoon, and he hoped it would make the news so they could have a busy weekend. The food may or may not have been responsible for what happened to that man."

With a name like Heart Attack Grill, you don't shy away from controversy. Rather, the restaurant founder and owner Jon Basso promotes the food, admitting in a Bloomberg interview, "I am probably the only restaurateur in the entire world who is unapologetically telling you that my food is bad for you, that it will kill you, and that you should stay away from it."

The Heart Attack Grill website describes the business: selling high-calorie food (including an 8,000-calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger), having customers dress in hospital gowns, spanking customers who don't finish their meal, and offering free meals to customers weighing over 350 pounds. 

Discussion Starters:

  • What's your view of the restaurant's "unapologetic" strategy? 
  • How do you assess the ex-hostess's Reddit posts? After reading several of them, do you think she helped or hurt the brand?