Restaurant Cleanliness

Discussion in 'Restaurant Reviews' started by Cody Fousnaugh, Oct 9, 2022.

  1. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Supreme Member
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    So, Bobby, what do you think about what I wrote about this restaurant..........Stuart Anderson's Black Angus? And, that I done that review in TripAdvisor?
     
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  2. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    It is called ambiance;) and lots of people like it. Not good for people with canes but I can see the fun in it.
     
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  3. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    Vaccines and Biden were forced upon us. I have never been told what to do to make me worthy of going or not going into a restaurant. But I have been told I can't go places or do things or even hold a job without being innoculated. I did not vote for Biden but I have to have him for my president anyway.
    I can go or not go to any restaurant now. you vote with your feet.
     
    #33
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2022
  4. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Supreme Member
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    The problem was, Mary, we've been to this Longhorn Steakhouse before and never seen the floor with food on it that the bus person put there from cleaning the tabletop without a bus pan.

    Another restaurant we've been in for breakfast, that had an immaculately clean dining room was Mimi's. But, then again, the bus person had a bus pan and wiped all the crumbs on the table into it. The floor was clean as could be!

    Now, we've gone thru a Arby's Drive-Thru and seen pieces of roast beef on the floor by the cutter. We've also gone thru McDonald's Drive-Thru and seen French Fries laying on the floor by. Guess employees/managers of these restaurants don't think anyone is going to look into the window where the food is given and see this, but I have.

    When we were in Florida, we would sometimes to a local Taco Bell. The manager was Brenda, an older lady about senior age, and boy did she keep the dining room and area behind the counter absolutely clean. We thanked her for keeping it so clean. However, when she left, to take care of her sick husband, that Taco Bell went very downhill and we could tell it. After she left, we only returned once.
     
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  5. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Supreme Member
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    As far as peanut shells on the floor, I've been in those kinds of places before. They aren't considered an Upper-Scale Restaurant, but more like a "down-home" sports bar. They didn't service Prime Rib, New York, Ribeye or Lobster. Hamburgers, chicken fingers, fries.........stuff like that is what they served.
     
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  6. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    I understand wanting to go to a nice place and being disappointed. On occassion, I have wiped something off my chair unseen by a busser. I don't worry too much about a few grains of rice. But if it would mess my shoes, I might ask for a bus person to help or a different table. If I were really offended, I might just leave. Not supporting the place is a great way to let them know they are not doing things right. A note telling them why you were disappointed might be even better.
    Noisy kids might get the look or even a comment. I had a woman come up to me to comment on how well my kids behaved and when we first walked in, she thought, 'Oh Nooooo.' Why not the opposite comment if warranted.
     
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  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Supreme Member
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    Well, Mary, there was so much rice that had been wiped onto the floor, neither wife nor I could believe it. And then to see bus people cleaning other tables around it and not seeing, or even avoiding, the rice on the floor, basically unacceptable. When a customer or customers have to tell a manager about an unclean floor, that doesn't sit very good with the customer. The customer thinks, "there are waiters/waitresses and bus people cleaning tables around the mess on the floor and avoid cleaning up the mess...........just what kind of world do we live in? I don't even work here and I can see the mess!"

    Anyway, our next Gift Card is for an Olive Garden dinner. We will see how their dining area looks. The one we ate at in Jacksonville, FL. was "clean as a whistle". Very, very impressive!

    Like I've already stated: some people, for whatever reasons, don't care much about cleanliness, while others do.
     
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  8. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
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    Cody, according to the exposés from many TV stations, if you were to see what goes on in the kitchens of a lot of eating places, you'd never eat out again.

    But food poisoning is rare so I don't think we need to worry overly much about crumbs on the floor.
     
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  9. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    If you read the online inspections, you'll see that great restaurants have cleanliness & pest issues, while fast food eateries usually get an A+. After all, there is nearly zero prep going on in the "kitchen" of a McDonald's. There is no raw meat...everything goes from the freezer to the fryer. Lettuce comes into the place chopped & bagged.

    Chain places are likely in between, since many things are prepped centrally so you get Fine Restaurant selection and Chain Consistency...but there's still raw meat & veggies crossing paths.
     
    #39
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  10. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Every now and then, I too like to read the on-line inspections but not necessarily the reviews.
    There are over a million restaurants in the U.S. with the largest share on the side of the free standing houses so with that many single establishments there’s going to be a few with a crew which lacks the knowledge it takes to run a healthy kitchen.
    Seafood places in particular used to be notorious for their treatment of proteins but with the advent of mandatory ServSafe classes, things are getting much better.
    When I traveled to Alaska, even though I had already been ServSafe certified in several states, I still had to take an 8 hour class before I could even walk into a kitchen to work, which I appreciated because Alaska has some tweaks that I didn’t know about.

    Some places have even implemented the use of color coded cutting boards: Red for meat, Green for veggies and Yellow for seafood but as usual, unless the PIC (person in charge) stresses the use of them they’re useless.
    Still others have gone to the expense of having crushed ice machines and separate walk-ins just for seafood and separate walk-ins or reach-ins for non-proteins and other proteins.

    Now, in my first sentence I wrote that I didn’t necessarily read the public reviews for a reason. If I have something to say, good or bad about the service, food or cleanliness, I’ll go to whomever I think is appropriate at the time to talk to.
    Normally, people are pretty fair and understanding when something goes awry especially if the place is busy but there are some who again, can never be satisfied and are looking for a reason to get to their keyboard when they get home.
    It’s a given that some establishments should have never opened their doors to begin with but there are some in the reviews that I know were just having a bad night and bad reviews do nothing but hurt an otherwise good business.
     
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  11. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    A group of us had to take the SafeServ classes in order to do smoked pork fundraisers for church. It is mandatory in my region/state.

    And I, too, sometimes go to the manager or owner of a business to let them know how the customer sees what's going on (easy for me to do from my years in vendor management.). Maybe some don't care, but most do. I'll skim online reviews, but as you said, it's a matter of timing and the personality of the author.

    As an aside, I've been in restaurants and seen a mouse scamper against the wall in the dining area. I've gone back. $hit happens. If you got raw food and dumpsters and such, you got rodents and roaches.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    As a former health inspector, I can tell you that unless an inspector is willing to ignore something, there is little room for subjectivity. It's a checklist. You check this, you check that, and you tick the appropriate boxes. Then, at the end, you add up the points and that's it. I was not willing to ignore anything that I found because that just wasn't worth it to me. A good restaurant owner might report an inspector who did that because they'd know that bigger problems were probably being ignored during the inspections of competing restaurants. I did, as I mentioned in another post, make a point of avoiding inspections during rush periods and, since I worked in a small city, I would usually not inspect more than one restaurant during the same day, so I'd let them know that I was there for the inspection, but then I'd order something to eat, or at least some coffee, to give them time to prepare the kitchen for the inspection. Not enough time to undo a disaster but time enough to make some last-minute adjustments. I ate at these places so I didn't want any enemies. Once I started, though, I just checked the boxes.

    If I was doing an inspection because of a complaint, those were unannounced, however.

    Restaurants with buffets were almost guaranteed to lose points because it's damned difficult to maintain prepared food at the temperatures required without it drying out. Since this was the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, insects were always a potential problem, but most of the restaurants did a pretty good job of reducing that problem. The only one I ever gave a closure warning to was a restaurant that had cockroaches on two subsequent inspections. Cross-contamination of foods could be a problem in small restaurants, in particular. As someone mentioned, fast-food places had an advantage because everything came frozen and ready to be cooked, so keeping things clean in the kitchen was a lot easier.

    One regular inspection that was always interesting was a convenience store that everyone (except, apparently, the police) knew was simply laundering money for a drug operation. Since they weren't interested in selling products to customers, they always had outdated cans and boxed foods on the shelves. But they gained points in other areas because they weren't actually selling much of anything, so there wasn't much that ever needed to be cleaned up, and they still passed the inspections, and I'm pretty sure they put the same outdated stuff back on the shelves after I left.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2022
  13. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Supreme Member
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    I think the way the Navy/military thinks, both Navy Petty Officers and Officers..........no excuses! Do the job right or get written up and go to Executive Officers Mass and be disciplined. Keep the ship and inside offices looking good and clean, or else.

    There will be those that will tell me, you are no longer in the Navy, but what I've heard from some Navy and other Veterans, "civilian jobs don't have the discipline they should have" and that's why I re-enlisted. As for myself, the area I worked in, I always kept clean.
     
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  14. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I've eaten at a place like that in an area with limited options. I once ordered The Soup of the Day. On my way out, I saw all the Progresso cans on the wall. And the guy had the nerve to come by and ask how the soup was.

    They hardly ever had any customers. My boss knew right away what was going on...he was Italian, so I trusted him on that.
     
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  15. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Way back in the day, Ms. Cazenave Wells Arnaud (owner of Arnaud’s) had a way with the health inspectors when they arrived.
    First, they weren’t allowed to come in to inspect before 2:30 PM when the restaurant was closed between meal times.
    Second, the health inspectors had to wait at the back kitchen service bar until notified.

    Just to review, Arnaud’s used to have the capacity to seat 1,500 guests at one time plus banquet space upstairs. The kitchen itself is a full city block long and had around 26 cooks, cook’s helpers and utility people working hot and pantry stations during meal times.
    There used to be 640 ala carte items on the menu.
    Arnaud’s is in the New Orleans French Quarter which is 6’ below sea level and the building was over 150 years old.

    Back to the health inspectors.
    They would appear, wait and someone would come upstairs behind the service bar and leave a full case of Jack Danials with an envelope tucked into the top slot. That person would leave and wait 15 minutes at which time he would go back to the back bar and retrieve the health inspection which would be laying there where the Jack Danials used to be.

    Just a note: It is my personal contention that there is no such thing as a busy restaurant that can actually get a 100% on a health inspection even though those scores are awarded. Something can always be found.
    That said, 50-60 years ago, there was NO free standing restaurant in the quarter that could just plain pass a health inspection as they are performed today.
    After Katrina, a lot of the old restaurants had to be completely renovated so maybe some good did come from that hurricane.
     
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