A former Cracker Barrel waitress says that a local nursing home would bring residents on “field trips,” explaining how she would jokingly “gaslight” the elderly customers she was serving.
In the video posted by TikToker Dani Elking (@dani.elking8) on Nov. 21, she says that “nine out of ten” Cracker Barrel customers are “elders.”
“You might as well say you’re working at the fucking nursing home,” she says in the clip. “I used to walk out of my shifts screaming. My voice was so raised because none of them could fucking hear.”
She continues that one time a “double-decker” bus with “about 60 elders” came to the restaurant, explaining that she would bring the large party decaf coffees when they couldn’t hear her asking for their drink order.
“I came back with 40 decaf coffees. That shit is liquid gold to them. The way they all got giddy when I set that decaf in front of them, like I just brought them a round of shots,” Elking says.
She adds that when she “got bored,” she would play the “penis game,” where she would slip the word “penis” into her sentences to see if they would notice. Once they noticed, she would “gaslight” them into believing she said something different.
“They’d ask a question and go, ‘What’s this one here?’ and point to a picture. And I’d go, ‘Oh, that’s our penis special,'” she says. “They’d go, ‘Your what special?’ and I’d go, ‘our chicken special.’ I’d gaslight the fuck out of them.”
@dani.elking8 Im not ready for winter #fyp ♬ original sound – dani.elking
The video has amassed over 2.7 million views as of Tuesday, with commenters poking fun at elderly customers’ ordering habits.
“I worked there as a cook. I turned a lot of good steaks into tires,” a commenter joked.
“I work in a residential facility, and I can confirm that decaf coffee is crack to them,” another said.
However, others reminded servers to “be kind” to elderly customers who may rarely get the chance to leave their assisted living facilities.
“A lot of the elderly in the nursing homes can’t wait to get out for trips like this since most of the time they sit and stare at 4 walls all day. Just remember to be kind and respectful,” one user said.
“I understand it can be trying but pls be kind, they just want to get out and have some fun too,” another wrote.
“As a healthcare worker, too many elderly have cried on me because they wanted to go eat. Please be respectful, we will be them one day,” a third added.
In an email to the Daily Dot, Elking clarified that the “penis game” comment was only a joke and she never gaslit the elderly customers while serving them.
“I never really said that word to any of the customers cause I never knew which of them came strapped with their hearing aids! I always treated every customer kindly and respectfully, which isn’t nearly as funny, but it is the truth,” she wrote.
The Daily Dot reached out to Cracker Barrel via email.