Thursday, June 7, 2012

Restaurant Red Flags: What you don't see counts

  When I was little, eating at a fast food restaurant was a treat.  It was during the times when we visited my Aunt Linda; that we would venture to McDonald's and dive into their shoestring french fries.  I have always thought McDonald's had the best fries anywhere in the world.

White Castle in Bronx New York
  In New York, my mother and father would stop at White Castle and get the bags full of hamburgers.  Oh, there is nothing better than White Castle.  I would rather there be a White Castle at the corners than 10 McDonald's.  I would sacrifice my french fries for White Castle burgers, any time.  With 5 children, my parents knew that White Castle was the best budget option for our family.

  Actually,  is so much better for our children to eat at home than at any fast food joint.  Eating Healthy is the new way of thinking today.  Still, there are so many households where both parents work, and not to many business being what I call 'family friendly'.   Fast food drive through windows often pack a full meal fit for busy families, in a brown paper bag sporting their logo.

News 10 Photo ~ McDonald's #10773

  Yesterday on the 6pm news, there was a segment called Restaurant Red Flag, featuring a McDonald Restaurant in Tampa.  I have Copied and posted the News Report {from New 10} so you can see for yourself.  This is the McDonald's #10773 on Martin Luther King Blvd off of I-275

NEWS REPORT FROM TAMPA NEWS 10:  Reported on June 6, 2012

TAMPA, Fla.- This week's Restaurant Red Alert focuses on one of America's favorite fast food restaurants.
In May, a customer at the McDonald's on Martin Luther King Blvd right off I-275 filed a complaint with the state saying a live roach fell out of the ceiling and into their food.
The complaint prompted a state inspection, and more problems for McDonald's. The inspector says upon his arrival, he was denied immediate access to the kitchen and told to "take a seat."

The inspector and his supervisors recommended an administrative complaint, and was eventually allowed access into the kitchen.
He documented 21 violations, including 7 considered critical.
Among the problems documented by the state were:
  • grease accumulating under the cooking equipment
  • Food and standing water on the floor
  • A toxic item near the utensils
  • Roaches: 25-30 dead roaches under the front service counter, and another 5 live roaches near the kitchen sink. 
The inspector also documented the ceiling soiled with accumulated food debris, and substantiated the original consumer complaint of roaches in the restaurant.
McDonald's sent us this written statement saying: 

"The safety and cleanliness of our McDonald's restaurants are of the utmost importance to us. We always comply and regularly exceed standards for health inspections. A recent health inspector's report referenced a situation that was the result of confusion between the inspector and McDonald's protocol. The restaurant staff followed procedure and received supervisor approval and the inspector was admitted to conduct his inspection. The findings were acted upon and the restaurant is in complete compliance with health regulations."

But on our visit we found numerous flying insects at the service counter, considered a critical violation, ketchup on a seat in the dining room and more food on the floor behind the counter.
Our visit came right after the busy lunchtime rush.
McDonald's restaurants typically do well on their state inspections...
We found two McDonald's in Bradenton on 53rd Avenue East and Sarasota at 8164 North Tamiami Trail. Both had perfect records with not a single violation over their past two inspections.

News 10 Photo ~ McDonald's statement
  Well, a live roach falling from the ceiling?  More dead and live roached found by the inspector?  McDonald's statement "inspection and cleanliness of our McDonald's restaurants are of the utmost importance to us".. Really?  Yet when News 10 returned to the McDonald's after the inspection, they found just as much as a mess!  Food on the floor, ketchup on the seats, flies buzzing around the tables.  I think maybe McDonald's Corp personal needs too come from behind the desk, and physically walk the stores themselves.

News 10 Photo ~ Ketchup on the seats

News 10 Photo ~ Food on floor in work area
News 10 Photo ~ Fly shares the table with News 10

  But wait.  This isn't a bashing on McDonald's post, they just happened to be in the news last night.  Fast food places all over, take consumers for granted.  It is a wake up call for all of us.  Why should we settle for anything less, than the very best?  Would you cook a dinner for your guest, on a dirty range or in a dirty oven?   Allow them to sit on dining room chairs full of dirty and grime?  Is your bathroom a mess of unflushed commodes, paper streaming across the floor, and the sink a mess?  

 Why would we as consumers, sit and eat in a place that would think so little of their customers?  When I enter a fast food restaurant, the first place I go is to the restroom and wash my hands.  On my way to the restroom, I am checking out their tables, the floor, and the employees.  I don't want someone serving me or handling my food if they are touching their hair, wiping their hands on their shirt, putting their hands in their pockets, or are busy texting on their phone.  And the list goes on.  If the business thinks so little of their customers, than to provide a clean restroom, I don't belong there.  Fast Food Restaurants should have the same values as a 5 star restaurant, customer service over and above the norm.  

  If you don't get the whole package the minute you walk in their door; why would you spend your hard earn money on less than what you deserve?  Just a thought.

1 comment:

  1. well am also feeling the same way. fast food make it EZ for us. But at what cost to us. I can remenber MY father taken my sister and mother my slef to a McDonald's were the bathrooms were so bad we left and went to the next fast food place (YES) a White Castle. Thank Joslinda for the update.