May 16, 2008
There is a unique relationship between DBPR’s inspectors and our licensees. It is a partnership between two entities who are seeking the same result. The inspector and the business owner work together to protect the public and promote successful business in the State. Last week, I had an opportunity to shadow Michelle, a Division of Regulation Investigator as well as Kathryn, an Inspector from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants.
Michelle took me to a few salons in the Winter Springs area. In the first salon, we quickly learned that the owner had just purchased the salon and had little working knowledge of the business. The inspector quickly began the education process, offering numerous recommendations and suggestions. The relationship between the inspector and the operator can easily resemble a teacher and a student, with both parties eager to cooperate and work together.
The next salon we visited, which was owned by an experienced salon operator, was quite different. She told us that in the past, the owner had experienced long hold times and had been given confusing information by DBPR. I informed her of the improvements we have made in the Customer Contact Center and Central Intake. I gave her my phone number and asked her to call me if she encountered any further issues. In the meantime, the inspector had her hands full with cosmetologists in the salon who were operating with expired licenses. She patiently worked with the licensees and explained the violations and the requirements for renewing their licenses.
Later, I joined Kathryn and Gary on two Orlando area restaurant inspections. Like the prior inspections, Kathryn walked the managers through the inspection process providing education and recommendations along the way. As with all of our inspectors, Kathryn’s attention to detail was admirable.
With thermometer in hand, Kathryn tested food on the salad bar, on the grill, in the refrigerator, freezer, and sitting on the counter. When the food was at the proper temperature, she complimented the manager, but if it wasn’t, she gave some advice on how to correct the problem. The managers were busy taking notes and jotting down all of her valuable suggestions. I was delighted to see the pride in the licensees when they were given the nod of approval on various aspects of food safety. They really appreciated the validation and education Kathryn provided.
I can’t say enough about the professionalism and expertise of our inspectors. Most importantly, I know they feel rewarded in serving their community. We know the customer comes first, and we will continue to serve as partners with the business community to ensure that the public is safe. I want to thank our licensees for their continued support and cooperation. Remember that the inspectors work to protect you and the public when they visit your establishment. This is a goal that I am sure we all share.
Department of Business and
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center: