Karen’s Diner hit with zero food hygiene rating following inspection

The popular chain has staked its name on second-rate service, but we don't think this was the goal

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 15th March 2023

Karen’s Diner, the restaurant where staff are deliberately rude to customers, has been hit with a zero food hygiene rating from inspectors.

The popular Australian chain – which has opened UK sites in Manchester, Birmingham, and Sheffield, amongst others – might have built its reputation on shoddy hospitality but we’re not sure this is what they were aiming for.

Its latest diner was recently opened in Newport, South Wales, with staff welcoming a local hygiene inspector on 22 February as queues built up outside.

Following the visit, last week inspectors issued the diner with a zero rating alongside a list of ways it must improve.

Image: The Manc Eats
Image: The Manc Eats

Food standards fall into three categories: the hygienic handling of food, the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building, and the system or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat.


Food venues are then given an overall star rating of zero to five, with zero meaning urgent improvement is needed and five meaning hygiene standards fully comply with the law.

Since receiving its zero hygiene rating in Newport the diner has changed head chefs and, according to Paul Levin, who oversees Karen’s Diner’s operations in Europe, the kitchen is “now how a kitchen should be.”


Read more: We went to Karen’s Diner to get shouted at before it comes to Manchester

However, according to the Food Standards Agency website, Newport is not the only Karen’s Diner with a poor hygiene rating. The Sheffield branch currently has a two, meaning improvement is required, and the Birmingham diner has a score of one, meaning major improvement is needed.

A Newport council spokesperson said: “A food hygiene inspection was carried out at Karen’s Diner in Friars Walk within a week of opening to the public.

Image: The Manc Eats
Image: The Manc Eats

“Appropriate action was taken and the food hygiene rating will be published at the end of the month.”

A spokesman for Karen’s Diner in Newport said: “The visit took place five days after the official opening, whereby the restaurant had experienced delays with the gas installation.

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“Karen’s Diner remains committed in ensuring the utmost care and attention is provided when it comes to food and hygiene standards, and following advice on necessary improvements by Newport City Council, has requested a revisit for the diner to be rescored to its deserved hygiene level.

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“Although an initial score rating of zero has been provided, Karen’s Diner would like to reassure its customers that the rectifications by Newport City Council were acted upon immediately, and the diner continues to celebrate positive comments and reviews by their guests.”

Featured image – The Sheff