Heart Attack Grill

Heart Attack Grill

The Heart Attack Grill is a Chandler, Arizona burger restaurant that has become internationally known for serving incredibly large, unhealthy hamburgers and for its criticism by the Arizona Board of Nursing and Baltimore-based Center for Nursing Advocacy for putting its waitresses in naughty nurse uniforms.


The Heart Attack Grill is a hospital theme restaurant. The restaurant, which is located in Phoenix, AZ, was founded in 2005 by Jon Basso who calls himself "Dr. Jon" and dresses in a white doctor's lab coat. [http://www.abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2661263&page=1 "Serving up Stereotypes"] , by John Stossel and Frank Mastropolo, "20/20", "ABC News", November 17 2006.] . Basso designed the theme of the restaurant with the intent of serving "nutritional pornography," food "so bad for you it's shocking." Customers are referred to as "patients," orders as "prescriptions," and the waitresses as "nurses."

The menu includes "Single," "Double," "Triple," and "Quadruple Bypass" hamburgers, ranging from half a pound to two pounds of beef, "Flatliner Fries" (cooked in pure lard), cigarettes, beer and liquor, and soft drinks. The names imply coronary artery bypass surgery, and refer to the danger of developing atherosclerosis from the food's high proportion of saturated fat and excessive caloric content. The Quadruple Bypass burger has 8,000 calories. [http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006510748,00.html "Would you like fries with that?"] , November 8 2006 "The Sun"] Customers who finish a Triple or Quadruple Bypass burger are pushed in wheelchairs to their cars by the waitresses.

The waitresses' nurse costumes and behavior have caused the most controversy. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/08/AR2006120800846.html "Ariz. Waitresses Dress As Naughty Nurses"] , by Amanda Lee Myers, the Associated Press, December 8 2006. Hosted by "The Washington Post". Also by "The Guardian": [http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6268561,00.html] .] The waitresses wear crosses on their nurse hats, thigh-high fishnet stockings, short skirts, and low-cut tops. On occasion, they sit at the table with customers while they eat, role-play as nurses, or even jump into the arms of their customers. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0611240263nov24,0,120658.story?coll=chi-newslocal-hed "Sexy duds make nurse group sick"] , by Stephen Kiehl, Tribune Newspapers: "Baltimore Sun", November 24 2006. Hosted by the "Chicago Tribune".] [http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=77655 "Pretend nurses in skimpy outfits raise ire"] , by Nicole Beyer, "East Valley Tribune", October 27 2006]


On September 1 2006, the Arizona State Attorney General's office sent Basso a letter warning him that "Arizona Statute A.R.S. 32-1636, only a person who holds a valid and current license to practice professional nursing in this state ... pursuant to sections 32-1668 may use the title 'nurse.'" [http://www.heartattackgrill.com/AZStateBoardOfNursing_1.pdf "Re: Use of the Protected Title 'Nurse'"] , letter from Daniel R. Christl, Arizona Assistant Attorney General, to Jon Basso, owner of the Heart Attack Grill, September 1 2006, hosted on the Heart Attack Grill site] In response, Basso put a disclaimer on his Web site, saying, "Heart Attack Grill nurses are NOT REAL NURSES." [http://www.heartattackgrill.com/not_real_nurses.htm "Heart Attack Grill Nurses are actually NOT REAL NURSES"] Heart Attack Grill page on controversy and threat of legal action] The attorney general's office sent a follow-up letter on November 22 saying this resolved the issue. On November 17 2006, the Arizona State Board of Nursing met and decided not to take any action against the Heart Attack Grill. ( [http://www.heartattackgrill.com/ The website] was later updated and the disclaimer edited to the following: "The use of the word 'nurse' above is only intended as a parody. None of the women pictured on our website actually have any medical training, nor do they attempt to provide any real medical services. It should be made clear that the Heart Attack Grill and all its employees do not offer any therapeutic treatments").

However, Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH, founder and executive director of the Baltimore-based Center for Nursing Advocacy, started a separate campaign to get the restaurant to stop using naughty nurse themes for its waiting staff. The Center says the association of nursing with sex discourages real nurses and contributes to the nursing shortage, a global public health crisis. [http://www.nursingadvocacy.org/press/releases/2006/heart_attack.html "Real nurses want 'naughty nurse' off menu"] Center for Nursing Advocacy press release, October 26 2006] The Center started a letter writing campaign, and tried to get real nurses to hand out fliers outside the restaurant. The complaints incited a backlash against Summers, who has been criticized as being humorless and politically correct. [http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/1130biz-buzz1130.html "Grill of my dreams a heart stopper"] , by Chad Graham, Luci Scott, "The Arizona Republic", November 30 2006]

Jon Basso has commented that the complaints have been good for business.


External links

* [http://www.heartattackgrill.com/ "Heart Attack Grill - Home of the Double Bypass Burger - Taste Worth Dying For!"] Official site of the restaurant
* [http://www.nursingadvocacy.org/news/news.html The Center for Nursing Advocacy] Official site of the advocacy group
** [http://www.nursingadvocacy.org/news/2006/oct/heart_attack_grill.html "Worth Dying For"] Center for Nursing Advocacy Heart Attack Grill campaign page

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