Customers were treated to dinner—and a show—when a waiter accidentally set a table on fire with a tequila cocktail.
The video was posted by TikTok user Owen Walker (@owenelijahwalker). “This is what happens whenever restaurants in ATL try too hard to get that Michelin star,” the text overlay read.
The viral video shows a woman looking nervous at the sight of a fire burning on her table, part of an elaborate demonstration. But instead of rushing to put out the fire, the staff look calm and unconcerned, with one water even grabbing a burning napkin with his bare hand and placing it on his tray.
The server still goes ahead with pouring the tequila shot, first into a shot glass, and then into the woman’s glass. As he does this, the woman backs away from the growing flames, as another server attempts to bat the flames away from her with a towel.
Meanwhile, a man at the table is audibly worried as he asks, “Should we get up?”
The video ends with the camera turning to show a person kicking away a burning napkin.
@owenelijahwalker Someone call the fire marshall NOW #atl #fyp ♬ original sound – Owen Walker
By Monday, Walker’s video amassed more than 966,900 views. Commenters couldn’t believe how calm the servers were about the fire.
“They are way too calm,” a user wrote with skull emoji.
“‘Should we get up?’ ‘No, you’re good’ & the entire table is lit on fire,” another wrote.
In addition to being slow, another critiqued the staff for not really doing much to control the fire. “The waiters doing everything but putting it out,” this person commented
Others were stunned that the server proceeded to pour the shot rather than put out the fire. “Panicked and still poured the shot,” they wrote.
Flaming shots are popular drinks that have been around for decades. According to Olmeca Tequila, flaming shots may have originated in the 1970s when they were used as punishment for patrons who lost bets.
Adam Henry, co-owner and cocktail director of Pittsburgh tiki lounge Hidden Harbor, told Wine Enthusiast that people like flaming shots for the fanfare. “It’s almost entirely theatrical. It makes it feel more like an experience,” he said.
The flaming shot can also provide a pleasant taste, since the fire is said to burn off some of the alcohol. The remaining sugars are caramelized, leaving behind a smoky, vanilla-like taste that’s easier to drink.
The Daily Dot contacted Walker via TikTok comment.
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*First Published: Oct 23, 2023, 6:16 pm CDT
Sarah is a multi-platform editor and writer who has been covering various topics—lifestyle, health, and entertainment—for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Tracy Anderson, Vital Proteins, Healthline, Diply, and more.