Local Moe's one of 24 food businesses to get perfect health inspection for the year

Dania Maxwell/Staff
Javier Angola prepares a burrito for a customer at Moe's Southwest Grill off Immokalee Road on Thursday, January 17, 2013 in Naples, Fla. This particular Moe's Southwest Grill location is one of 24 restaurants in Florida that earned a perfect inspection rating this year.

Photo by DANIA MAXWELL // Buy this photo

Dania Maxwell/Staff Javier Angola prepares a burrito for a customer at Moe's Southwest Grill off Immokalee Road on Thursday, January 17, 2013 in Naples, Fla. This particular Moe's Southwest Grill location is one of 24 restaurants in Florida that earned a perfect inspection rating this year.

Welcome to the North Naples Moe's, where anything other than perfection is swept away.

Moe's Southwest Grill on U.S. 41 and Immokalee Road in the Granada Shoppes was one of 24 Florida restaurants to survive 2012 without receiving a safety or sanitation violation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR).

"The most important thing we do is our customer safety," Mike Silverman, the owner of the restaurant, said. "Everybody needs to come in and have a safe experience. That starts with food safety, food quality and cleanliness."

To attain a perfect inspection rating for a year, a restaurant must survive two ruthless unannounced inspections.

The DBPR restaurant inspection includes a 60-item checklist, which includes inspecting everything from rust on the Dumpster to the supply of paper towels in the bathroom.

"Although inspection reports only offer a snapshot of the conditions at the time, we recognize the results as outstanding," DBPR Deputy Communications Director Beth Frady said.

Generally, the DBPR will carry out follow-up inspections if it finds violations.

A restaurant could only go through a DBPR inspection twice throughout the year if it avoids violations.

The DBPR is not the only one inspecting Moe's.

Moe's inspects its own restaurants with the Moe's Restaurant Operations Standards Evaluation and the Styrotech Corp., an independent health inspector corporation hired by Moe's.

"When they come in, we know we are ready for any kind of inspection because we try to keep the store nice and clean every time," Martha Rodriguez, a Moe's manager, said.

Moe's customer Jamie Briggs, who likes to read the daily newspaper while he consumes his Moe's cuisine, said he didn't realize the thorough cleanliness of the restaurant.

However, Briggs said he did notice the little things, such as the bathroom always being clean.

Silverman said Moe's has an employee on cleaning duty throughout the hectic lunch rush to avoid a messy dining room.

Employees clean the prep station, salsa bar and bathroom whenever they have a spare minute, Silverman said.

"If you have time to lean, you have time to clean," he said. "They definitely adhere to that here."

Silverman, who owns seven Moe's establishments in Southwest Florida, said he has never had a major health or safety violation in any of his restaurants.

Moe's moved from its original location, which was also located in the Granada Shoppes, into their current building last March. The restaurant received one DBPR inspection in each facility.

The original location, which opened in May 2004, was the first Moe's to open in Collier and Lee County.

Several Moe's employees have worked for Silverman for the majority of his time operating Moe's.

"I love Moe's," Rodriguez, who has worked for the company for eight-and-a-half years, said. "I love my work. I love the job that I do. I love the way we work and the way the corporation works."

Rodriguez said her favorite aspect about Moe's is taking care of the customers.

Rodriguez became so involved in her work that she said she needs to catch herself from shouting 'Welcome to Moe's,' the popular Moe's catchphrase, when she sees someone walk through a door outside of the workplace.

"I have people that really care about what they do," Silverman said. "The reason I'm successful is because I only recruit people that care. The common thread between everyone is that they truly care about the restaurant, the customers and doing the right thing. You can teach anyone to roll a burrito. You can't teach someone to care."

'Welcome to Moe's' is no longer just a joyful greeting; it is the sound of satisfaction and safety.

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