Did Donald Trump's Restaurant Review Open up a Can of Worms?

Updated on June 28, 2018

Restaurant Critique - Donald Trump Style


Restaurant Review Tweet

It looks like Donald Trump has another hidden talent just making its public debut. The President apparently has a knack for sizing up restaurants from curbside, without ever stepping a foot inside. This is one restaurant review heard by millions across the nation.

When the masses took to Twitter on Monday morning to read the Donald Trump-style news, they found that he added a new topic to his vast array of critiques. Trump shared a rule that he's always followed when it comes to patronizing a restaurant. This advice is now passed down to the public so they have these words of wisdom to live by as well.

Is the President giving Yelp some competition these days? Probably not, but with this one restaurant review he might have. Trump sent out his tweet this after hearing the news that his White House Press Secretary was asked to leave a restaurant over the weekend. Trump tweeted:

"The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors, and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!l"

Critique Opens a Can of Worms


Forget Curb Appeal, It's Now People Appeal

Sarah Huckabee Sanders went out to dinner this weekend at an establishment called the Red Hen in Virginia. She was approached by the owner who asked her to leave. The reason given was basically because she worked for Donald Trump.

Sanders tweeted about her experience in a very lady-like way and people from both parties took to social media to say that this has gone too far. There was, of course, others who supported the owner's move. The President flexed his personal style and slapped back at the restaurant on Twitter with the tweet that is quoted above in the article.

The Red Hen in Virginia has no affiliation with the Red Hen in Washington D.C., which is a disclaimer the D.C. Red Hen posted almost immediately upon hearing what was done to Huckabee Sanders. They apparently wanted no part in this and made sure to let folks know they are not in any way, shape, or form, associated with that eatery bearing the same name.

People took to the online world and condemned this action by the restaurant and that included people who are affiliated with both the Republican and Democratic parties. The Red Hen in Virginia suddenly found itself with an influx of one-star reviews online due to all the backlash from showing Huckabee Sanders to the door.

War of the Health Department Scores


Trump's Critique Backlash

It didn't take long for the media to get a hold of the health department scores of the Red Hen as well as the restaurants affiliated with Trump's name, like the one at his Mar-A-Lago resort. It seems they were hot on the trail to prove the President wrong, about the Red Hen being a "dirty" restaurant.

It looks like his critique of the Red Hen opened up a can of worms for Trump in the media, as some attempted to turn it all back on the President with comparisons.

They did this by attempting to build up the Red Hen by reporting on its impeccable health department scores. Then in what appeared to be an attempt to one-up Trump, they took these scores and compared them to Trump affiliated establishments.

NBC News reports that the Red Hen passed inspection in February of this year and in 2017 as well, with one minor violation having to do with the jars that pickles and jams were stored in.

For some reason, the restaurant wasn't inspected in 2016 but passed in both 2015 and 2014. In 2014 the restaurant corrected two violations that were observed by the health inspectors.

Then comes NBC's description of the restaurant of Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort, which is worded a bit differently from how they presented the Red Hen. The Mar-A-Lago restaurant also passed inspection in 2017, but NBC suggests it did so by meeting "the minimum standards."

NBC states: "The club, however, met the minimum standards to remain in operation." They report the restaurant had more than a dozen violations. They also say that it could have led to "foodborne illness" but stopped short by stating that it didn't. If the health department thought there was any chance of that, Trump's restaurant would not pass inspection and it did pass.

Trump's Mar-A-Lago Resort

Trump's Mar-A-Lago Resort
Trump's Mar-A-Lago Resort | Source

With a Grain of Salt?

Anyone who has ever worked in a food service setting can tell you that even the order of food storage in a refrigerator is important to keep food safe. There are health department rules that dictate the order of how food is stored from top to bottom on a refrigerated unit's shelves. If an inspector happens into the kitchen just when a cook placed a salad on a shelf below the raw chicken, boom... violation.

You can even get a violation for not having a lid on the container of drink stirrers in a restaurant. The process, rules, and regulations are stringent, so a violation can be large or small. The point is - no health department would ever let an establishment stay open to serve the public if there was a risk of harm to the customers.

NBC went as far back as 2012 for the restaurants affiliated with the Trump name for health department records. They cite the steakhouse at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas as having more than 50 violations in 2012. This caused a brief shutdown, reports NBC. They don't say if Trump owned the steakhouse, just that it is in the hotel that bears Trump's name.

The Huffington Post suggested in their article that "Trump really shouldn't call anyone else's restaurant dirty." They too referred to the restaurants affiliated with the Trump name and the health department ratings they received.

The health department can shut a place down for burst water pipes, which has nothing to do with the quality of food. Without knowing exactly why a place is shut down it is hard to judge what you read, as it could have nothing to do with what is brought out on a customer's plate. On the other hand, it could also be all about the food but without the details, you have no way of knowing this.


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