Do you know what your staff is doing when you’re not watching? Posting snarky comments on Twitter and behind-the-scenes Instagram photos? Maybe. Taking pictures of bad tips from guests? Probably more than you would like to know.
A Wingstop owner recently learned the hard way about a crazy thing that his staff was doing behind his back. Thanks to a cellphone video of the incident — which reminded me of the time Waffle House employees were caught washing their hair in the restaurant’s sink — the owner found out that his employees were “playing” with the restaurant’s raw chicken. I’m shuddering at the thought of the chicken sandwich that I ate for lunch today.
In what can only be described as a gross display of immaturity and irresponsibility, a Wingstop employee dunked her head in a tray of raw chicken as her coworkers looked on in amusement.
Why anyone would want to do that, I truly have no idea. On top of all of the food safety issues plaguing restaurant brands (Ahem…Chipotle), and the increased scrutiny placed on food handling procedures, this incident illustrates the highest level of staff stupidity. I’m left asking myself, “Why didn’t a senior member of the team step up and stop this from ever happening?” If this prank only came to light because it was caught on tape, imagine what other misbehavior has happened in that kitchen.
In defense of the shocking video, the restaurant’s owner was quick to point out his establishment’s positive track record with the local health department, and that “we have confirmed the food in the video was not served to customers and was immediately thrown away after the video was taken.”
Your staff is playing with your restaurant’s raw food, and I’m supposed to take you on your word that the contaminated meat wasn’t served to guests? I’m not optimistic that someone would find a tray of raw chicken if he went rummaging through the restaurant’s dumpster.
Either way, this is a black eye for Wingstop, a chain with more than 650 locations. Such is the case with a multi-unit restaurant concept. A mistake by one establishment reverberates across the entire chain. It doesn’t matter if it’s a franchise location or a company-owned store, the overarching brand suffers anytime a negative situation arises.