Would You Like Safety With That
But at the Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurants in
Wendy’s won 14 awards in 2004 for restaurants in its category and another nine last fall when the health department announced the winners for 2005. Those yearly totals far exceed any other restaurant in the Class B category, which largely consists of fast-food restaurants and cafeterias.
The nine awards Wendy’s won in 2005 represented 14 percent of the 63 awards that all the Class B restaurants in the county won that year. The 20 Wendy’s made up only 2 percent of the 880 Class B restaurants listed by the county as being inspected that year.
And the quality is spread around: 15 of the 20 Wendy’s have won a food safety award over those two years, with eight of those restaurants doing so in both years. (See related list.) What makes these awards even more significant is that Class B restaurants have to be perfect at inspection time, which is twice a year, as just one violation takes an eatery out of the competition for that year.
“The guidelines are very strict for the awards,” said Amy Morris, community relations coordinator for the county health department.
“They really adhered to the regulations inside the food codes and were exemplary in their practices, food preparation and food handling,” added Morris of last year’s winners.
Wendy’s of Michigan President Alan Pruitt told the Business Journal that each restaurant in the county serves an average of 4,000 customers each week, or about 208,000 each year. That means all 20 Wendy’s serve nearly 4.2 million customers in a year, or 8.4 million over the past two award years. And to maintain perfect food safety with that many orders puts the awards Wendy’s has won into quite a perspective, he said.
“We touch a lot of people, obviously, but safety is our first priority. We’re committed to serving safe food in a clean environment. So safety is No. 1 in everything we do,” said Pruitt.
All Wendy’s of Michigan managers regularly take part in a national food safety program that Pruitt said ensures they know how to keep a restaurant clean and how to safely prepare and serve food, and that they clearly understand why safety is important to the company and its customers.
“We emphasize the importance of a clean restaurant and a restaurant that is serving great food in a safe manner to make sure that our customers can count on us,” he said.
The company also takes safety seriously when it comes to the food it purchases. Wendy’s of Michigan buys most of its beef, chicken, potatoes and other vegetables from one supplier it can count on, which has been qualified by Wendy’s International.
“That is the Sigma Corp. out of
The Meritage Hospitality Group also began developing a chain of O’Charley’s restaurants in 2004, with a goal of opening at least 15 in
The awards Wendy’s earned proved to Pruitt that the investment his company has made in time, expense and emphasis on food safety over all the years was more than worthwhile.
“The training and the time that we’re putting into our managers and crew people so they really understand the importance of food safety is really paying off and we’re getting a return on that,” said Pruitt.
“The inspections conducted by the health department are unannounced, so it’s not as if our managers know they’re coming. It indicates to us that our managers really understand it and they’re doing their best to deliver on food safety.”
Here is a list of the winning Wendy’s by address and the year(s) the restaurants won the award.
1600 28th St. SW
2333 28th St. SE
3921 28th St. SE
480 68th St. SW
5960 Alpine Ave. NW
4343 Chicago Drive SW
4300 Clyde Park Ave. SW
3850 S. Division St
5070 East Beltline Ave. NE
2351 Gezon Parkway SW
6628 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
3922 Lake Michigan Drive NW
1061 Michigan St. NE
4343 Patterson Ave. SE
3301 Plainfield Ave. NE
Source:Kent County Health Department, Public Health Food Safety Awards, 2004 & 2005