The buffet restaurant industry has a whistleblower all its own.
The employee, Brandon Huber, posted a YouTube video last week that opens with him introducing himself as a “longtime employee” of the restaurant, then walking through the parking lot and around to the back of the restaurant to the Golden Corral dumpster area.
“Apparently what my company likes to do to get ready for inspections is put their food by the dumpsters," he says. "So, I'm outside, here's the dumpster area, I'm walking into it right now, and this is what my company likes to do with their food for inspection."
The camera pans from him to reveal stacks of food next to the dumpsters, still in their cooking trays: raw hamburger meat covered in flies, raw baby back ribs, green bean casserole, pot roast, chicken, ham, and bacon.
“All you can eat ribs. By the dumpster,” Mr. Huber quips.
“I’m an employee here, I’ve been working here a long time, and I don’t think this is right,” he says.
The video migrated to Reddit, along with photos of a very dirty kitchen overflowing with garbage and dishes.
Huber's video is just the latest in a slew of examples of workers' social media postings, inadvertent or not, causing trouble for their employers. In June, a Taco Bell employee was fired after posting a photo of him licking a stack of taco shells during a training session. In May, a Florida Papa John's employee lost his job after accidentally leaving a tirade laden with racial epithets on a customer's voicemail.
Golden Corral took swift action, promptly firing the manager of the Port Orange location, but said the dumpster fare was thrown out shortly after the video was shot. In a statement via Eric Holm and Metro Corral Partners, a franchisee who owns several Golden Corral locations in Florida and Georgia, the company also claims that Huber helped dispose of the food.
More interestingly, the chain claims that Huber’s father tried to sell the video for $5,000, which the company did not accept. Huber is currently on paid leave, according to the company via ABC News.
The Metro Corral statement, first reported by The Consumerist, is below:
"A video was recently posted showing an incident of improper food handling at our Port Orange, Florida location. None of these items were served to a single customer. All were destroyed within the hour at the direction of management. Brandon Huber, the employee who made the video, participated in the disposal of the food.
The following day, the father of the employee, posted an offer to sell the video for $5,000, which was not accepted.
The manager involved in the improper storage was terminated for failing to follow approved food handling procedures.”
Golden Corral is a nationwide chain of buffet-style restaurants with approximately 500 locations in 40 US states.