Così Franchisee Bets TV Reporter $10,000 Restaurant Will Stay Mouse-Free

redsignA franchise of the sandwichery Così in Washington, D.C. was closed down yesterday due to a failed health inspection. What were the restaurant’s violations? Meats stored at unacceptable temperatures, improperly labeled food, food preparation surfaces not clean or sanitized, and mice. So many mouse droppings.

It turns out that the same restaurant was temporarily closed after a health inspection for a rodent infestation last year. When a crew from TV station WUSA stopped by to report on the situation, as they do for all post-inspection restaurant closures, they were ordered out of the restaurant. In a follow-up e-mail, a district manager told the station that “asking questions aggressively” and looking under the furniture caused “a great deal of distress towards our customers and our Cosi team.” You know what else causes customers distress? Mouse crap.

The franchise owner followed up with the station and promised to improve conditions in the restaurant and improve staff training. The $10,000 bet entered the picture when they reminded him of this promise a year ago.

If the restaurant gets cited for rodents in 2015, the franchise owner will make a $10,000 charity donation to the reporter’s choice of organizations. “Tell me the charity and we’ll make the donation on your behalf,” he said. Mark your calendars.

Restaurant Alert: Metro Center infestation closes Cosi [WUSA] (WARNING: AUTO-PLAY VIDEO)