To taste greatness at Burgers Never Say Die in Silverlake, you have to be willing to wait with your mask on, which for some people is apparently too much to ask.
“I don’t know what it is. I can’t answer for why somebody is doing something,” said Shawn Nee, the owner of Burgers Never Say Die.
Nee recently posted on Instagram about some customers getting aggressive while breaking this rule: No mask, no service.
“Aggression, belligerence, name-calling, things like that -- threats,” Nee said.
A woman seen in the Instagram video is refused service after not complying with the mask rule. A man later returns as she records from the sidewalk, Nee said, and the man smashes a burger on the table in front of staff.
Nee said the man later continually called the burger spot, flipping out.
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“You guys are so ridiculous. You need to not forget -- you flip burgers for a living,” the man said in a recording of the call.
In the video, a woman — who had then masked up — lost her cool after receiving a refund for not wearing a mask in the waiting area.
“That was the tipping point that made me decide we needed to get security,” Nee said.
Armed security may sound like a bit much for a burger joint, but Nee says it’s worked.
“We saw a drastic change almost immediately in regards to people being respectful to others, following the rules, wearing the masks,” he said.
“I walked up and they were like, ‘no you have your mask on, you got to have your mask on.’ So I ran back, got my mask and got my food,” customer Jesse Garcia said.
For Nee, it’s personal. He says he and some of his staff contracted COVID-19 early on.
“I was out of work for 10 days, which is highly unusual. I never get a break and I just couldn’t function,” Nee said.
Today, he’s grateful customers no longer flip out while their burgers are being flipped.
“If you don’t follow the rules, you’re bound to get sick,” Nee said.