Andy's Restaurant Scorecard: Lessons learned from two Low Scores - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Restaurant Scorecard: Lessons learned from two Low Scores

Double J Smokehouse & Saloon upgraded to an 83 on re-inspection July 10. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Double J Smokehouse & Saloon upgraded to an 83 on re-inspection July 10. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Restaurant owners/managers, read this Scorecard closely.

It is a crash course in how to handle -- and how not to handle -- public relations when your establishment earns a low score.

Two restaurants really blew their inspections this go-round. One handled it perfectly.

The other could use some media training.

Let's start with that one...

Fox & Hound Sports Tavern, 6565 Towne Center Crossing in Southaven, MS, earned the lowest grade a Mississippi establishment can earn:  a "C" on its July 7 inspection:

"...insects, rodents and animals NOT IN COMPLIANCE"

"...adequate hand-washing facilities NOT IN COMPLIANCE"

"...food received at proper temperature NOT OBSERVED"

Fox & Hound Sports Tavern's General Manager Mike Middleton made PR mistake number 1: get defensive.

"Where were you on the last 28 'A's in a row?" he complained, apparently referring to the restaurant's past inspections.

Mississippi health records revealed Fox & Hound Sports Tavern earned 14 A-grade inspections in a row from 2009 to March of this year, when it changed owners.

In spite of that clean record, Middleton wouldn't discuss his establishment's latest grade.

So we climbed the ladder to his district manager, Amir Fathi. "No comment," he said.

That's not how you handle being a low score on the Scorecard.

But this is...

Double J Smokehouse & Saloon, 124 E. GE Patterson Ave. in Downtown Memphis, earned a 73 on its June 25 inspection:

"...dirty plates stack(ed) as clean"

"...dirty interior of ice machine"

"...food out of (temperature) inside walk-in cooler"

Double J's owner Jeff Stamm immediately took responsibility for the score. He was the consummate professional.

He even allowed us to inspect the restaurant's walk-in cooler that conked out the day of inspection.

"Our defrost cycle had gone out sometime during the night," Stamm said. "That morning, we came in to find it."

His service guy fixed it. It was chilling below 41 degrees during our inspection, well within Tennessee health codes.

Those "dirty plates" were actually faded plates Stamm's staff had put back into circulation. "They were not dirty. Absolutely not," Stamm insisted, as he presented them for our camera. "They just weren't as bright and new-looking as the others."

Stamm also showed off a spic-and-span ice machine. He admitted its seal and interior were indeed dirty during the official inspection, and he dispatched his staff right on it.

Double J Smokehouse & Saloon upgraded to an 83 on re-inspection July 10.

Two restaurants. Two poor scores. One smart response.

Let this one be a lesson to any restaurant that finds itself on the wrong end of the Restaurant Scorecard.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly