MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new round of restaurant health inspection scores are in, and one stands out for all the wrong reasons: The Denny's on Winchester received a score of 57 last Friday.
According to the Tennessee Health Department, more than 100 restaurants in Shelby County underwent routine inspections last week, but none of them got a grade that low.
WREG went to the location to speak with management, but we were greeted by customers who say they’d just had a negative experience with the staff and food.
“My friend was like, 'Excuse me, can you wash your hands?'" customer Tanette Wilson said, talking about a conversation with an employee. "She was like, 'Yeah,' but she had an attitude.
"The food was cold, the eggs were cold, it was just a mess. But we didn’t know any of this was going on,” she said.
Those cleanliness issues matched the poor inspection review, which describes 28 actions, including workers not washing hands. It also details flies found in the kitchen area, trash build up, and mildew in the ice machine and ceiling tiles.
"You have to be clean," customer Angela Strickland said. "There’s too much stuff going around and you’re not washing your hands? Nuh uh, I’m not going in there.”
The owner of the Dennys did not want to speak on-camera. He apologized for the negative scores, saying the restaurant had managerial changes near the day of the inspection, which caused the bad reviews.
He said the restaurant is hoping for a follow-up later this week, and claimed he would update WREG on their new grade.
For some customers, they’ll have to see the improvements before they believe it.
"I’m just about to start staying at home because it’s ridiculous out here, you don’t know what you’re getting," Wilson said. "Had y'all not told us, we wouldn’t have known. We could have come back next week. We probably wouldn’t have come back because of the service, but I’m just saying, people need to know.”
We will update this story after this Denny’s performs its follow-up inspection.