A mum burst into tears when staff at Karen’s Diner put a “grotesque” message on a paper chef’s hat for her nine-year-old daughter which said “I should have been a bl*w j*b.” Warning: This article contains a video including strong and sexual content.

Ashley Lambert, her husband and her daughter visited the restaurant, which promises “rude service and great burgers” in Brighton Marina on Saturday.

The 39-year-old said that what started as a bit of fun turned into something “far more grotesque”.

Ashley, from East Grinstead, carefully read the website before making a booking.

It said: “Because of offensive and inappropriate language, under 14s must be accompanied by an adult during the lunchtime service and they recommend under 18s to attend before 5pm.”

Ashley and her family went for lunch which began with “rude behaviour that was genuinely funny,” she said.

They were late so the waiter announced it to the whole restaurant and told them to stick their middle fingers up, menus were thrown on the floor and they were told to sit at table 13, which did not exist.

Ashley told The Argus: “We noticed everyone in the restaurant was wearing paper chefs' hats with insults handwritten on them by the waitstaff.

“Nothing too bad - there was a k**b drawn on one of them which was kind of funny. Then it came our turn for the insult hats. Our waiter started with our daughter. She asked her age to which my daughter replied 'nine'.

“This should have been an indication if anyone was unsure exactly how old she was to go easy - she's a child. Know your audience and all that. But no, they took it to mean that writing ‘I should have been a bl*w j*b’ and placing it on my sweet daughter's head was okay.

“I laughed nervously at this but everything felt just wrong. I knew a massive line had been crossed and I should have stopped it then and there but not wanting to embarrass my daughter more than she obviously already was and not wanting to disrupt lunch and the entire restaurant, I kept my bum in my seat.”

The Argus: The waitress putting the hat on the nine-year-old's headThe waitress putting the hat on the nine-year-old's head (Image: Submitted)

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At this point, “things turned far more sinister,” Ashley said.

 “This waiter then asked my daughter if she knew what a bl*w j*b was.

“This is when I completely disassociated from my body. When my daughter replied "no" the waiter walked to the other side of the restaurant and got on a mic. She introduced my daughter by her name and age and proceeded to "educate" her publicly on an explicit oral sex act all while using myself and my husband as verbal examples.

“She then told her if she wanted to know more, she could watch porn and for her to tell her friends at school that she knows what a bl*w j*b is. It was beyond disgusting.”

Ashley burst into tears.

“I was juggling between asking my daughter if she was okay and telling my husband to pay so we could leave, all through a stream of uncontrollable tears,”  

“The waitstaff never broke from character and one even had the audacity to come over and ask me why I had a face like a slapped a***.”

She wanted to get out of the situation as quickly and safely as possible and decided to pay quickly so they could leave.

“The fact that we even paid is still beyond me, but my husband and I could not cope with the idea of telling these people that we wouldn't pay,” Ashley said.

“We simply wanted to leave the situation as quickly and safely as possible. And guess what - they took our money. We had barely touched our food.”

Karen’s Brighton confirmed that Ashley had received an apology over the phone and by email.

In an email to Ashley, Paul Levin, a spokesman for Karen’s Diner, said: “I forward my apologies for this unacceptable incident.

“All staff need to read and sign our operations handbook prior to commencing work.

“Further we insist that each and every Karen is trained to perform in accordance with the manual's guidance.

“The venue will not continue to offer employment to the member of staff responsible for this serious breach of good conduct.”

He told The Argus that Karen’s staff are taught the difference between being funny and being offensive.

Ashley and her family received a refund for their food.