A video on TikTok shows a food service driver lambasted by a kitchen staff member (presumably a chef) for being late. While his annoyance may be understandable, the verbal abuse unleashed on the delivery driver is deplorable.
The TikTok starts with the annoyed kitchen employee directing the driver to pack the goods into the walk-in fridge. The driver murmurs, “you haven’t told me where…” when the chef’s ire turns into hysteria. He screams: “The walk-in! The f**king walk-in! Are you stupid? Are you f**king stupid? Seriously?” At this point, he becomes aware of the camera but is not put off. He looks into the camera and continues with his tirade: “Take the f**king sh*t into the walk-in now, dumb*ss,” before storming off.
In most cases, restaurant kitchens have a boot camp environment characterized by verbal abuse, and if you are submissive and enduring, you may just come out on top (or at least that is the narrative, per Eater). But does this, or has it ever, extended to the delivery staff — especially considering that the restaurant does not employ them?
In an interview with ABC News (via YouTube), New York industry stalwart Eric Ripert projects a fresh point of view. He says “we should not be proud of chefs that are screaming in the kitchen”. He brings shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmare to boot and says of them: “this is not something that should be on TV”
To enforce the latter, the sympathetic comments to the food service driver’s TikTok flowed into the comment string. “If it’s not in y’all’s contract to put it up.. ahha don’t,” said one follower, and “no reason to take that abuse,” said another. A commenter (likely a delivery service driver) said that they would write “delivery refused” on the invoice and return the goods to the supplier.
Not all responses were sympathetic. Some looked at it from the chef’s perspective and defended his Karen moment. A sympathizer wrote, “this dude may of missed an event due to a late delivery and was yelled at that day.” This scenario is against the backdrop of an industry where getting screamed at is the norm, as per Vice, though it may be fading out (sorry Gordon Ramsay).