"We have taken what has happened in New York very seriously," said Emil Brolick, president of U.S. Yum Brands in a videotaped message posted yesterday on the company's KFC and Taco Bell websites. "Frankly, we're embarrassed that this has happened. . . . I want to apologize." He vowed the company is working with franchisee ADF Cos. to close its Gotham stores until they can be given a clean bill of health by the heath department.
Today, ADF issued a written mea culpa statement to the press. "We are embarrassed by the situation and stress that certain restaurants did not meet the very high standards that we set for ourselves," said Don Harty, ADF president. "We apologize to our customers and are working around the clock to resolve this matter. The ADF locations will reopen with new procedures to better meet the demands of operating in NYC. Other franchisees have been ordered to remain mum on the subject."
And, according to company policy, none of the other franchisees -- many of whom, we presume, don't allow rat rampages in their stores -- are allowed to speak to the matter.
The restaurants aren't the only things under review. The inspector who gave the store a clean bill of health the day before the rats were caught on tape last week has been put on leave. Now, the city is re-evaluating its entire process (as well as other restaurants passed earlier by the benched inspector).
We can't imagine why.