After 30 health department inspections in the past two years, one of the owners of the Washington Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant flew in from California and made major upgrades.
After issues with the heating and cooling units on the roof brought both the Washington fire and Franklin County health departments to the restaurant two weeks ago, a follow-up visit by the county Wednesday showed KFC is the best it has looked in years, officials noted.
Public Health Supervisor Tony Buel said the staff has fixed all of the noted problems and new equipment has been purchased.
“We are excited for the improvements and it is safe for the community,” he said. “You can’t ask for anything more than full replacement of equipment.”
Buel said while he was at the restaurant Wednesday, he toured the facility with the owner, who he had contacted by email after the multiple issues at the establishment in recent years.
“The owner was pointing out items he wanted cleaned or fixed to staff,” he said. “There were no areas of unsanitary food contact. He also said there will be increased employee training.”
Buel explained the KFC owner spent about $220,000 on a full renovation in 2018, $20,000 on sewer repairs earlier this year and now $7,000 on new fryers and equipment.
He also noted multiple nonfood-related upgrades at the restaurant ordered by the city of Washington.
For now, KFC has been given a top rating and Buel said the next inspection is not for about three months unless a specific complaint is received by the health department.
The Washington KFC is owned by Ampex Brands, which owns about 500 fast-food franchises all over the country.
As of 2018, Ampex owns 128 Pizza Hut units and 218 KFCs. Its full portfolio, which stretches across 15 states, also includes 38 Taco Bells, 68 Long John Silver’s and 49 Tim Hortons.
According to its corporate website, Ampex Brands was formed in 2005 by Tabbassum Mumtaz, Ajay Dhillon and Ray Wilia when the company acquired 18 Long John Silver’s (LJS) restaurants in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
In 2006, the company added eight locations in Texas and Oklahoma.
In 2008, it acquired 44 Long John Silver’s and A&W restaurants in the North Texas and Tulsa/Oklahoma City markets, which made the company one of the largest LJS franchisees in the country.
During 2010, the company acquired 54 Kentucky Fried Chicken multi-brand restaurants in the metro Dallas market.
In 2011, 35 KFC multi-brand restaurants were acquired in the metro Chicago market.