Popeyes shuts down over video showing cockroaches on orders

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 3:43 AM EST

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A Popeyes restaurant in Detroit is closed for a thorough cleaning after a video surfaced online showing cockroaches crawling over a number of to go orders.

A DoorDash driver waiting for an order to be completed at a Popeyes on the east side of Detroit says she noticed cockroaches crawling on several orders and started recording. She says in her two plus years of delivering food, she hasn’t seen anything like it.

“It was just like all over the counter, all over the utensils and all over the bags and things like that,” said the driver, who didn’t want to be identified.

She says she immediately alerted the DoorDash customer who was supposed to receive that order and worked with him so he could get a refund. She says she also told the Popeyes workers about the bugs.

“I was definitely surprised. I was caught off guard. I was shocked. I was disgusted. I just couldn’t believe that they were even open and working in those conditions,” she said.

The DoorDash driver posted her video to social media, where it quickly spread.

A spokesperson with the Detroit Health Department says they received word about the video Friday and sent an inspector to the Popeyes location on Monday. That inspector found evidence of cockroaches.

The health department says the restaurant’s management made the decision to voluntarily close as soon as they learned of the video.

A Popeyes spokesperson said on Twitter that the conditions were “completely unacceptable,” and the restaurant, which is run by an independent franchisee, will remain closed “until it can provide our guests with the Popeyes standards and service they deserve.”

The DoorDash driver who sounded the alarm about the cockroaches is happy something is being done.

“If it wasn’t for me… this business would still be open. They would still be running today,” she said. “I feel bad for the staff because it’s holiday moments, and I know they probably need their income. But at the same time, I don’t want them working in those conditions because that’s awful.”

Because they serve chicken, the Popeyes location is inspected routinely every six months, according to the health department. They say, to their knowledge, there have been no prior issues.

It’s unclear when the location will reopen.