Earlier this month, the Crocodile Lounge, an east side restaurant boasting free pizza, was shut down by the Department of Health after evidence of rice and rats in the kitchen led to concerns about patron safety. This particular news story serves as a cautionary tale for other restaurant and business owners about the importance of pest management, because coming back after a Health Department shutdown is incredibly difficult.
When a business has health code violations that put customers at risk and is forced to shut down as a result, that business loses more than just the income during the period of time when it is shut down. It also loses the trust of its customers. While the business can, and should, try to fix the problems in order to come back, long-standing customers will lose faith in the business. Starting over after a health code violation is much like starting a brand new business, yet the owner has the distinct disadvantage of struggling with a negative reputation.
Patrons, particularly of food-related businesses, are wise to be wary of establishments that were shut down due to health code violations, in particular those violations that involve pests. Rats, cockroaches and mice all carry diseases, including E. coli and Salmonella, that can be fatal at their worst and very uncomfortable at their best.
Other industries can fall victim to this as well. A hotel that is infested with cockroaches and bedbugs to the point that it must shut down is going to struggle to get people to visit once the problem is fixed.
To keep your business safe from these risks, create a proper pest control plan. Working with Assured Environments can help eliminate much of the risk from pests and deal with existing pests quickly and decisively.