Of Mice & Men: Cosi Franchisee Bets Reporter $10,000 Because Hygiene


Cosi Corporate: Pick up the white courtesy phone please. 

Cosi is a fast-casual concept that boasts the tagline, “Life should be delicious.” While this is true, Cosi restaurants should be doing its part for this to happen. Say, be mouse free because that tends to ruin an appetite.

Meet Richard Pawlowski, Cosi franchise owner in Washington D.C.

Richard’s hot spot was closed recently by the county health inspectors for mice infestation (among other things that we’ll get to later). While classy as that may be, Pawlowski had to turn up the awesome and give Cosi some press they really didn’t want.

According to WUSA (CBS-9), this happened…

“I’ll put up that $10,000 we don’t get cited for rodents in 12 months,” said [Pawlowski] Thursday. “Tell me the charity and we’ll make the donation on your behalf.”

While he is thinking that he got on the news and his 15 minutes of fame starts now, if I was the Cosi PR director, I’d put a muzzle on that fool fast. Here’s what else was discovered in his eating establishment:

In the 2013 closure, inspectors cited rodents, mold, rodent droppings, chicken and other foods at potentially sickening temperatures, improper tracking of employee diseases transmittable through food, and sinks too small to clean Cosi’s large utensils, trays, and bowls.

Dee-lish, right? Of course, Captain Responsible apologized (but didn’t backtrack on the bet), fired everyone, put better procedures in place, blah blah blah, but this is not what you look for in good franchisee relations, media relations, or customer relations. If Pawlowski wins the wager he’s making, WUSA9 will do a story on Cosi’s 12 month rodent-free accomplishment.

Mark your calendar for Feb. 27, 2015 because I think someone is going to be bought out by then.