At 72 Aretha Franklin is still on the road touring and bringing her iconic music to her fans. After one recent concert in Niagara falls, Ontario, Aretha headed over to one of her favorite eateries, Johnny Rocket. When she got there, the waitstaff so rude that she told her what to do with the food she had just ordered and walked out, according to the New York Daily News on July 26.
Franklin’s show was over for the night and she wanted some of her favorite menu offerings at Johnny Rockets. She ordered a burger and a cherry Coke to go and then went to sit and wait for the food to be prepared, reports MSN Wonderwall today.
While sitting at a table, a young and not very polite waitstaff told Franklin she couldn’t sit at the table. Aretha sat down in an empty spot, so it is not as if she had taken someone’s seat.
The iconic singer said to the waitress “Excuse me, what do you mean I can’t sit here?” The waitress replied that Franklin was sitting in a section for people who are dining-in.
Aretha then told the waitress, “I’ll have it here,” the singer recalled the conversation for the interviewer from the Daily News. That didn’t do anything for the angst the waitress was apparently feeling for having a takeout customer sitting in the dine-in section.
What came next shocked Franklin. The waitress told her she could not eat her meal at the table because it had already been rung up as a take-out order. The topper for the singer came when the waitress ordered her to get up and stand outside of the restaurant, which would have put Aretha in the food court.
As much as she was anticipating her Johnny Rocket burger and cherry Coke, Franklin had about enough of this waitress by then. She ordered the waitress to keep the food and told her “You should eat it yourself and you pay for it!”
On the way out Aretha’s nephew told the waitress who is aunt is and she said she didn’t care who she was. Franklin recalls that waitress as “so rude and nasty.” While she will always go back to Johnny Rocket’s for food, she won’t go back to that one restaurant, said the singer.
A spokesperson for the restaurant franchise apologized for the treatment that Franklin endured and said that the waitress was “new and very young.” Franklin didn’t want the woman fired, but she did want her to get a reprimand for the awful way she treated her.
It seems that Aretha Franklin didn’t get “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” from that waitress, which is the name of the song she is famous for singing. She first made the song a hit in 1967. You can watch Aretha back then belt out her “Respect” song almost a half of a century ago on the video above. The song is still recognized by people from the many different generations since that time.