In the wake of Martin Spurlock’s movie ‘Super-Size Me’, McDonald’s chose to add healthier options to its menu. Heart Attack Grill, on the other hand, has taken an entirely different approach, which has seen the company create a new and expanding empire.
Heart Attack Grill is a hospital-themed restaurant criticised for serving up an extremely unhealthy menu, including massive burgers, and having waitresses dressed in provocative nurse outfits. Even before entering the grill, customers are warned of the unhealthy temptations waiting for them inside. A large sign reads: “Caution: This place is bad for your health.” The restaurant’s motto is “a taste worth dying for”. Unlike McDonald’s, the company warns off anyone concerned about their weight and is proud to let everyone know there are no diet options available.
Heart Attack Grill’s crown jewel, the Quadruple Bypass Burger, contains around 8,000 calories (33,600 kilojoules). To put that in perspective, an active adult’s recommended daily intake of calories is around 2,000 to 3,000 calories … that’s in one day, not one meal. On April 13th, 2012 Guinness World Records presented the Heart Attack Grill with an official certificate proclaiming that this burger was the “world’s most calorific burger”.
Jon Basso, who ironically ran a Jenny Craig weight loss diet centre for years, founded the controversial restaurant in 2005 and says: “I founded the Heart Attack Grill as a simple place where a guy can get a good burger, a cold beer, and not worry about being on a restrictive diet.” He added: “I run perhaps the only honest restaurant in America: hey this is bad for you and it’s going to kill you.”
Now, I personally find the concept of this business disgusting and if I wasn’t open-minded, would automatically say it’s downright immoral. Perhaps the only redeeming feature is that Heart Attack Grill doesn’t sell kids’ meals. It sells to consenting adults and doesn’t mislead people. Regardless, I think there is something we can all learn from the success of this business:
The rest of the world is judging the Heart Attack Grill’s customers. They already cop a lot of flak for being overweight or obese. This is a place where people can come and be glorified for the reasons others put them down. They can indulge in what makes them feel happy, and not feel ashamed about it. People will travel far and wide for a business that can make them feel accepted and loved.
Silver screen icon Audrey Hepburn is noted as having said: “We all want to be loved, don’t we? Everyone looks for a way of finding love. It’s a constant search for affection in every walk of life.” Flawsome companies don’t just embrace their own flaws – they embrace and encourage the flaws of their customers. It’s this kind of unconditional love we expect from our family members, which now transpires between customer and service provider.