This article will cover why restaurants get shut down and what restaurants can do to prevent it from happening. There are many reasons to why a restaurant can get shutdown, but really there is usually one main category of similar reasons to why. The health department is usually the cause to why a restaurant is shutdown, whether that is temporarily done or for an extended period of time.
The health department is governed by the government. Their job is to keep the public safe from health hazards and potential health hazards when inspecting a restaurant. Most restaurants are usually aware of the dos and don’t in a restaurant when running their establishments and preparing food. However, not every restaurant follows all the guidelines presented to them when running their establishment.
The hygiene in certain restaurants can be below standards, which can cause a restaurant to be warned of a potential shutdown that can immediately cause them to be temporarily shutdown, or permanently shutdown. Usually, when the health inspector inspects a restaurant, they will not immediately shut the restaurant down in most cases if they find a violation. This means that a restaurant can continue operating for days, weeks, months, or even a year without getting shutdown, despite past violations.
This is why some individuals that often go to one of their favorite restaurants can be surprised when their favorite restaurant is suddenly shutdown. A change in the regular health inspectors that usually visit a restaurant to inspect it, can cause this to happen too. Sometimes the restaurant and the employees of a restaurant can take it personal when a health inspector marks them down for violations, but the public should be very grateful to have them.
If it wasn’t for the health department sending health inspectors to regularly inspect restaurants, then some restaurants would do what ever they want with your food and handle it any kind of way. This could lead to food borne illnesses rapidly spreading through the region. We have seen restaurants do things that even the owners or general managers of a restaurant are aware that they continue to let happen or remain the same, even though it is a clear health hazard. Usually these things aren’t fixed until an employee that cares about their customers finally spills the beans to the health department, or a guest sees it and files a complaint.
Some employees at some restaurants (including the management) do not pride themselves in the work that they do at the restaraunt. They are just there because the job pays the bills for the time being, or years, they have worked there. This can cause them to develop a careless attitude that is reflected in the hygiene of the restaurant. It could also be a reflection of the employees’ own true personal hygiene behind the façade they put up.
Employees can also get overwhelmed at times, which leads them to make poor decisions of putting finishing food orders on time first, over safely preparing the food they make in a food safe way. This pressure could be coming from the owner of the restaurant or the corporate of the restaurant to make more profit. However, health inspectors do not care about how long a restaurant’s customers have been waiting for their food, but how safe that food is that the guests will consume. A restaurant that fails to realize this or comply with it, to make both of these requirements work together, can end up shutdown with a bad letter grade card to show why on their front window or door.
A restaurant can prevent their establishment from being shutdown by acting consistently on the employees with these attitudes of carelessness for their work. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, and it isn’t an issue of personal expression of the employee that should be overlooked for this reason. A restaurant has to prioritize food safety first over profit or anything else. If not, the profits may be cut too and the restaurant may crumble.
Food Letter Grade Cards
Food letter grade cards are the easily noticeable pieces of paper that are white with a huge letter (A, B, or C) on the paper. They are required to be posted where the guests can easily see them. This letter indicates how food safe a restaurant is, depending on a number of violations and how severe those violations found by the health inspector are. A letter is given on the card, with “A” being the best and “C” being the worst.
Restaurants that receive points based off of certain violations that have an “A” card have passed health inspections with no violations (zero), or only received 13 points or less in their score of violations. Restaurants that receive a “B” card have 14 to 27 points in violations found. A restaurant with a “C” card has 28 or more points in health code violations found during the inspection.
This means that a restaurant can still violate health codes by doing things that are not food safe and receive a consistent “A” card everytime they are inspected. Usually though, restaurants that manage to do this can be trusted and the violations are very minor. From restaurants that we have worked at that do have “A” food letter cards, they put forth much effort to make sure that they obtain them, and are sometimes surprised when some violations are still found during current inspections.
However, it should be noted that a restaurant can also still receive an “A” food letter card while having violations that the public or guests may see and decide to never eat at that restaurant again. This could lead to some bad restaurants trying to take advantage of the system by trying to prepare for an impending inspection when they usually don’t have the clean standards that are reflected in their food letter cards.
Restaurants can find out when inspectors might be on their way soon to their restaurant by sister restaurants telling them via email or phone after the health inspector suddenly shows up at their own restaurants. This means that a restaurant can have a present number of violations that would definitely give them a “B” or a “C” card, that they would temporarily fix or clean until the health inspector visits their restaurant to inspect it.
Restaurants are aware from experience when a health inspector may show up next time. This is because health inspectors may only appear every 2 or 3 months to inspect the restaurant at a time. However, restaurants that do try to play the system are still often caught in the act, even when they think they are a step ahead. A restaurant’s inconsistencies can easily be spotted by seasoned health inspectors, as old habits die hard. In this case, the restaurants’ specific violations can be found online too, from the current inspections, and in the past.
This means that bad restaurants that try to play the system often goof up during inspections, because they may not be used to consistently following food safe practices that they don’t do regularly on a daily basis. Restaurants have many employees and one of them is bound to end up blowing their cover and getting the restaurant caught for the violations, as they should be. These violations could lead to an immediate shutdown that can be temporary or permanent.
Can a restaraunt with a food letter “A” card be shutdown?
Yes. A restaurant that has an “A” food letter grade card can be immediately shutdown, either temporarily or permanently. If a restaurant has a problem in the restaurant that is found to be a health code violation that needs to be fixed that same day of the inspection before the inspection is done, it could lead to the restaurant being shutdown until they can fix the problem.
Any restaurant, regardless of their food letter grade and number of violations, can be shutdown immediately. Reasons for an immediate shutdown and stop of service can be no running water, running water but no hot water, sewage backup, food that is unable to be kept at food safe temperatures, numerous repeated violations of the same type found during the inspection, or numerous violations of various types that lead to a bad overall score.
A restaurant with a “B” card are restaurants that have been found with 14 to 27 points of violations. This means that the restaurant is practicing things that aren’t food safe repeatedly on an ongoing basis, that could be a few things or a wider range of things. This is known by the grade, as a restaurant is usually given time to redeem themselves on a second follow up inspection if they are allowed to continue operation after the first inspection. In this case, a restaurant is given a “B” card or lower and a “grade pending card”. The restaurant is then required to post either one for their guests to see.
A “C” card means that the restaurant can have a score of 28 points in violations or more. This means that the restaurant is practicing many different unsafe food practices that are repeatedly being done in their daily operations. These violations can be things that the guests can see or not see when visiting the restaurant.
A “B” food letter grade card, a “C” food letter grade card, or a “grade pending card” are all signs that a restaurant could be shutdown, and for good reasons. They are also signs to a customer that they probably shouldn’t eat there if they know what these grades mean. An “A” food letter grade card is not difficult to get and maintain for most restaurants, as long as they have a decent staff with enough employees and keep everyone in the knowledge of what is food safe.
Restaurants Also Shutdown Because Of Other Reasons
Restaurants also can shutdown by choice of the corporate or owner. Unfortunately, some individuals take their personal rejection by the restaurant too far and broadcast this information in a way that benefits their side of the story, in a negative way to their subscribers or followers. This can lead to harassment of the restaurant by the followers of that person and other things being done through social media to destroy that restaurant’s reputation, whether intentional or not.
Even if the restaurant may have been seen as wrong by most when looking at the entire story from both sides, sometimes these matters are really petty personal problems that really only effect the few individuals making their case against the restaurant. Sometimes the restaurant is in the wrong. However, it should be kept in mind that a restaraunt is ran by numerous employees most of the time that could be a mixture of good and bad people, not just one rude or incompetent person making the final decisions that’s in charge, working for the restaurant that we may have encountered. All of them need to work and survive, just like everyone else.
Even though some individuals may think that rude employees at a restaurant deserve the guillotine, there are better ways to handle a situation that don’t involve the entire restaraunt’s reputation being put on the line. Restaurants will usually only reject certain individuals from their establishments for a reason that they think is worth doing it to protect the integrity of their business or ability to make a living from their profits.
A real example of this is individuals wanting to repeatedly participate in a food eating competition that allows an individual to eat a large sum of food for free if they can complete it in an alloted amount of time. Individuals wanting to compete in the challenge that are food eating contest experts, may be rejected to compete, which the competitor may make a huge deal of through social media to their followers.
That restaurant may not be able to pay for the food costs of these seasoned competitors, which leads to the restaurant having to decline to serve them. In this case, the competitor may try to ruin the restaurant’s reputation through social media, leading to the restaurant deciding to shutdown. This is a real life example that has happened on more than one occasion.
Restaurants will also decide to shutdown if they are unable to pay for the expenses of the restaurant overtime from the profit that they earn. Restaurants will also voluntarily shutdown after being temporarily shutdown by health inspectors, after realizing that running a restaurant is too difficult for them.