By Hal Scheurich
DAPHNE, Alabama (WALA) — A Daphne fast food restaurant reopened Monday, September 11, 2023 after company officials said they were cleared to do so by the health department. The Daphne Whataburger was forced to close as a result of a customer seeing a rat in the drive through window on Saturday night.
The customer quickly pulled her phone out and got video. She showed the video to a restaurant employee before leaving and later posting it on social media.
It was about 8:30 Saturday night when Nicole Lett and her son, Brakston pulled into the Daphne Whataburger to grab a bite. When they pulled up to the first window, they couldn’t believe what they saw.
“I saw a tail and then I saw a big thing. It looked like a rat, but then I called it a mouse because I didn’t know what it was,” Brakston said.
“It was kind of cute. I knew what I was seeing, and I knew I wasn’t getting my food, but I stayed in line so that I could show them the video and let them know, you know that there’s a rat in the first window nibbling on the bread in the bread rack,” Lett recalled.
In the video, Lett can be heard talking about what she’s seeing.
“Oh, my God. We’re at Whataburger, in line and look at what’s in the window looking at us while it’s eating on the bread,” said Lett.
Lett posted the video to her tiktok feed when she got home Saturday night and it’s since gotten nearly 200,000 views and more than 15,000 shares and comments. She said she felt compelled to post the video after speaking to an employee about what she saw.
“I got that they were just kind of frustrated with me and business went on as usual,” recalled Lett. “The line kept moving after I left and so, I said I better post this so that other people will know.”
Word did spread quickly, and the store was closed all day Sunday and part of Monday. Whataburger issued a statement regarding the incident.
The Hahn Agency, representing Whataburger, provided FOX10 News with the following statement:
“Whataburger is committed to cleanliness and food safety at our restaurants. We are aware of the issue regarding our location in Daphne, Alabama, and we promptly closed the location pending further inspections, initiated a deep cleanse of the entire restaurant, and notified pest control. Our teams have contacted the local health department, and we will work with them to ensure a full inspection is completed. We are also reinforcing cleaning procedures with all our Family Members. Our Daphne location has no history of this type of incident and scored high on its past two health inspections. We believe this is an isolated situation. However, we will continue to be diligent to ensure this is resolved and our restaurant exceeds our food safety standards.”
Hahn Agency, representing Whataburger
Monday afternoon, the agency informed FOX10 News that the Daphne Whataburger restaurant had reopened following a health department inspection and work by Whataburger teams.
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