Karen’s Diner in Grand Central receives five star Food Hygiene Rating - but the service is shocking

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Karen’s Diner in Grand Central has received the highest rating for food hygiene by the Food Standards Agency - but watch out for the waiters

A visit to Karen’s Diner in Grand Central Birmingham is not for the faint hearted.

Far from welcoming visitors with a smile and good wishes, the Australian restaurant takes pride in rude service. From shouting about vegetarian requests to laughing about special birthdays, staff certainly know how to raise a few eyebrows - but it’s all tongue in cheek and part of a unique dining experience.

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The concept has won fans far and wide for its hilarious antics, although it did grab the headlines for all the wrong reasons when it first opened in Birmingham. Food hygiene inspectors issued it a one star rating not long after Karen’s Diner opened in November 2022. This low star rating meant that ‘major improvement necessary’.

And it is apparent that Karen’s Diner staff have taken all the advice on board - as it has now been issued with a five star rating after its latest inspection on March 27 which means ‘very good’.

Karen’s Diner spokesperson Paul Levin previously explained to BirminghamWorld: “When we opened there were some specific structural issues and we were not compliant with requirements and we were marked down.

“Since then, the whole kitchen has been upgraded. We have a new head chef and staff and we are in a happy place now. More than 45,000 diners have visited us for the good quality, well-prepared and safe food. Our kitchen is managed and controlled by Shield Safety.”

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So if you’re ready for some tongue-in-cheek hilarity - with interactive games - and some classic American style dishes, then check out Karen’s Diner in Grand Central. From tasty hot dogs to juicy meaty burgers to thickshakes and fries and wings, this place has it all.

The Food Standards Agency inspectors aren’t the only people to give the restaurant high ratings. Several customers have posted rave reviews on online platforms. and it has a 4.4 star rating after more than 1,200 reviews on OpenTable.

Karen’s Diner, a hugely popular brand on social media, is heading out on a tour across the UK very soon and will be stopping off in Newcastle.Karen’s Diner, a hugely popular brand on social media, is heading out on a tour across the UK very soon and will be stopping off in Newcastle.
Karen’s Diner, a hugely popular brand on social media, is heading out on a tour across the UK very soon and will be stopping off in Newcastle.

One reviewer said: “Staff are funny and always in character, definitely a meal to remember.” Another added: “I think they’d be pretty proud of a 1 star rating. I went to Karen’s Diner 2 days ago and I’m still traumatised lol they definitely play the school bully too well.

“A table sat next to us was frozen to the spot because they were scared to ask for condements or cutlery. Definitely have to have thick skin to take the abuse. If you bring your children don’t think they take it on them easy either.”

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Altough SquareMeal reviewers of the Birmingham branch gave it two stars. One reviewer wrote: “Food wasn’t good. The beef tasted quite greasy and the seasoning on the fries was a bit strange. I think the staff have lost the concept; there’s a difference with being rude and unhelpful and being a pain in the arse.

“Lots of repetitive jokes ie moving food and chairs from our table- once was quite funny 3 times wasn’t remotely amusing. Asking whether we still had sex with our partners wasn’t a least bit shocking and wasn’t at all relevant to the conversation we were having. Also suggesting that my husband was at home killing himself I thought wasn’t really relevant and again not an intelligent or shocking thing to say.”

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