State inspection rules don't intimidate restaurant with clean record

2014 brings a new procedure that might benefit customers, restaurant owners

Author: Melanie Lawson, The Morning Show anchor, reporter, mlawson@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 09 2014 06:00:00 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 09 2014 10:01:04 AM EST
Restaurant Report Card - Metro Diner
JACKSONVILLE, Fla -

Mark Davoli is proud of the restaurant he opened with his family many years ago and it shows.  The original Metro Diner on Hendricks Avenue is always busy and has passed all its inspections since March 2012.  This is not by chance.

"There goal is to make sure you do things the right way and we understand that very well," says Davoli

They practice it with their own checks even before a state inspector hits the door.  Mark says they do these in-house inspections weekly and then every month they do a more thorough check. 

Organization and being methodical are two things he says are keys to success.  The other they added about a year ago.  A thermometer sends a text message to Mark's cell phone if the temperature of the food in the cooler gets into the danger zone.  

"If these(temperatures) happen to go up we can get someone out here to make sure they don't go out of temp," says Davoli.

This year Metro Diner will be rewarded for it's compliance. Starting this summer the state will conduct fewer checks on restaurants that have a good inspection history.

"It makes a lot of sense if you're doing things the right way and when they come in they see a couple things and you correct them they shouldn't have to come," says Davoli.

Mark says whatever changes the state makes they're ready for them.  Mark says they just follow the rules not question them.

"When you see something new or we're going to do it this way now, we put it in our action plan and makes sure it stays that way moving forward so it's done correctly," says Davoli

While the state is cutting back on their inspections for some restaurants they all will still have surprise checks throughout the year. Also, restaurants that are out of compliance will continue to have frequent re-checks whenever necessary.