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LizH

El Pollo Rico Raided by Federal Agents

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I was sad to see an article in today's Washington Post that El Polo Rico was raided today: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...7071201963.html

to quote from the article:

Four members of a family that owns popular chicken restaurants in the Washington area were arrested by federal agents yesterday for knowingly employing illegal immigrants and laundering the money earned from that business, according to immigration officials.

I am not sure what to say. On the one hand, it was the best chicken in the area. On the other hand, the money laundering (6 mil), if true, bothers me. I am not surprised that they had illegal immigrants, I am afraid that it happens often in the food business.

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[in discussing this, please keep things in general terms, without naming names, and without falling into the septic tank of political debate. Thanks, Rocks.]

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Wow, but I am not a bit surprised. Is it safe to assume that this is the end of El Pollo Rico? One thing is for sure, their regular clientele isn't going within a mile of the place from now on.

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I am not surprised that they had illegal immigrants, I am afraid that it happens often in the food business.

In the ethnic fast food business, perhaps. In the hotel and upper-end restaurant business, almost not at all anymore. The fines are too severe.

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Wow, but I am not a bit surprised. Is it safe to assume that this is the end of El Pollo Rico? One thing is for sure, their regular clientele isn't going within a mile of the place from now on.

I doubt this will have much of an impact. The chicken will still be outstanding. I don't think agents are going to be checking the clientele for documentation. As to cash nature of the business, I am not sure that these business practices will keep customers away, either.

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In the ethnic fast food business, perhaps. In the hotel and upper-end restaurant business, almost not at all anymore. The fines are too severe.

What is your take on fast food chains like MCD, BK or other chained family restaurants? I would rather see them being controlled more thoroughly ...

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What is your take on fast food chains like MCD, BK or other chained family restaurants? I would rather see them being controlled more thoroughly ...

Any restaurant these days that has a human resources department will not hire illegal workers. This includes all the major chains.

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I doubt this will have much of an impact. The chicken will still be outstanding. I don't think agents are going to be checking the clientele for documentation. As to cash nature of the business, I am not sure that these business practices will keep customers away, either.
On the whole, I agree, BUT...

I imagine the feds have padlocked the places while the investigation proceeds. If the owners are convicted, the feds will seize the businesses and auction them off to the highest bidder.

Anyone drive by today?

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I doubt this will have much of an impact. The chicken will still be outstanding. I don't think agents are going to be checking the clientele for documentation. As to cash nature of the business, I am not sure that these business practices will keep customers away, either.
Wish I shared your optimism. The owners are under investigation\indictment for multiple felonies. And while the Feds certainly aren't checking the clientele for papers, that does not mean an already skittish population is going to brazenly go inside simply because they serve excellent chicken.

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I doubt this will have much of an impact. The chicken will still be outstanding. I don't think agents are going to be checking the clientele for documentation. As to cash nature of the business, I am not sure that these business practices will keep customers away, either.

You think the place will still be open if the owners are under arrest? I doubt it, but I hope you're right....

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Any restaurant these days that has a human resources department will not hire illegal workers. This includes all the major chains.

I had a long discussion with one of my foreign (legal) friends one time and it is my understanding that enough paperwork to get a job is not that hard to get your hands on. Not to mention people who have one legal family member and "share" the identity. In the years I have worked in the industry I have met a few folks who were inexplicably called Arturro by their family even though I had known them as Juan for several years.

(Names changed to protect the innocent.)

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I've always wondered what happens to a great recipe when a restaurant stops operating.

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I had a long discussion with one of my foreign (legal) friends one time and it is my understanding that enough paperwork to get a job is not that hard to get your hands on. Not to mention people who have one legal family member and "share" the identity. In the years I have worked in the industry I have met a few folks who were inexplicably called Arturro by their family even though I had known them as Juan for several years.

(Names changed to protect the innocent.)

Blake, Central and South America are predominantly Catholic. Most males "first" names are Juan or Jose, just like most French guys are name Jean-Louis, Jean-Marc, Jean-Jacques. In this country they tend to use their second names. So it's not unusual for someone named Juan Arturro to be known as Arturro.

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I've always wondered what happens to a great recipe when a restaurant stops operating.

I believe the Arlington location was not impacted by the activities at the Wheaton location.

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I believe the Arlington location was not impacted by the activities at the Wheaton location.

The Arlington location is still open. I stopped by today. The location looked like it was getting by with 1/2 the normal staff size and 1/3 the normal patrons.

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