Karen’s Diner in Subiaco an alternative experience where customers pay for shocking service

A world-renowned restaurant rocking hospitality etiquette will soon offer its alternative dining experience—complete with insults and rude waitstaff—in Subiaco.

Inspired by the ‘Karen’ stereotype — a woman of typically straight who wears an inverted bob haircut while demanding to speak to the manager — the first Karen’s Diner opened in Sydney less than a year ago and is still booking months in advance.

Due to the unique experience of Karen’s Diner, its popularity has increased enormously via TikTok and Instagram. Customers are greeted and served by overly rude waitstaff, most of whom have an acting background.


Karen’s Diner co-founder Aden Levin, which owns a range of catering establishments across Australia, told PerthNow the idea grew out of the end of the COVID-19-related lockdowns in Sydney last year.

“The infamous Karen meme went viral at the same time that our employees had to enforce vaccine passports and other restrictions, meaning they were the recipients of a lot of unnecessary ‘Karen’ behavior from customers,” said Mr. Levin.

“We understood that people were just frustrated with lockdowns, but it got us thinking about a concept where we could reverse the hospitality mantra and create a restaurant where the staff could be rude to the customers and get paid for it.

Camera IconKaren’s Diner offers American diner-style dishes such as burgers and milkshakes. Credit: Included

“Karen’s Diner is a fully immersive dining experience that’s more than just walking in and being laughed at by your waiter — it’s a fun experience where customers participate in games, challenges, and many different things while eating.”

Karen’s Diner, co-founded with James Farrell, is now in six locations in Australia and two in the UK.

Upon arrival, customers can expect to be ‘ungreeted’, have their menu thrown at them, and face challenges that could lead to them having to clear their table or even be thrown out of the restaurant.

Camera icon The Karen meme has been popular in pop culture recently. Credit: Google Image

With his rising popularity, Mr. Levin said the alternative dining experience would strike the need “we all need to be a little nicer” and “home”.

“People don’t leave Karen’s Diner as if they’ve just had nine rounds with Mike Tyson, but with ‘Wow, that was fun and different, and I’ve lost all my pent-up energy by giving back chatter to the waiters,'” said Mr. Levin.

“It’s an inverted hospitality experience that puts you back in your place, reminding you of when you’re on the other side in a ‘normal’ establishment.

“It’s a very different experience, so seeing the great people at WA ready to unleash Karens will be great.

“And while the Subiaco store will be another replica of what we did in the East, there may be a few additional local pieces, including a sneaky reference to Mark McGowan.”

The staff at Camera IconKaren’s Diner are known for their rude customer service and ability to get customers to clean their tables or even kick them out of the restaurant. Credit: Included

Mr. Levin said that people named Karen could get to it for a fairly free drink.

Karen’s Diner opens in August at Subiaco Mews on Hay Street.

Are you interested in becoming Karen? Send your resume to [email protected].

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.