Get All Access for $5/mo

Oh, Rats! Popeyes Forced to Shut Down After Viral Video of Rodent Infestation. Former employee Ricardo Land exposed a disturbing kitchen scene in a Washington, D.C. location of the chicken chain.

By Emily Rella Edited by Jessica Thomas

Would you like a side of rats with that?

One Popeyes location is under fire (so much so that it has shut down) after a video went viral of a now-former employee showing a number of rats in the kitchen.

TikTok user Ricardo Land (@blaqazzrick01) posted a 2-minute long video (which has now been viewed more than two million times) that began with him standing outside the Washington, D.C. Popeye's before walking viewers into and through the restaurant after hours.

"Watch this sh*t right here," he says before opening the kitchen door. "Ya'll ready?"

Once he turns the light on, a rat can be seen scurrying across the floor immediately. He then pans the camera to the wall, where at least a dozen rats begin to climb up the wall.

"Oh my god," Land whispers. "Look at them!"

@blaqazzrick01 #popeyeschicken #mickeymouse #ratsfarm #runandhide ♬ original sound - blaqazzrick01

He begins banging around in an effort to make more of the rats come out of hiding, and more begin to run around on the floor.

"Y'all still love that chicken from Popeyes?" Land asks as he turns the camera back around to face him, talking to what appears to be another employee, who says he saw about 15 rats the night before.

Naturally, disturbed customers went off in the comments.

"If you saw 15, there's another 30 you didn't see," one user eerily said.

"Those are night shift employees prepping for 1st shift," another joked.

Others deemed Land a "hero" and thanked him for keeping D.C. dining "safe."

"You saved a lot of lives by posting this," one man wrote. "Can you imagine if people [ate] there and got sick? Thank you."

But the health department didn't exactly take things as lightly.

The New York Post reported a on a tweet that shows a photo on the front door of the D.C. Popeye's saying that the restaurant was "ordered closed until further notice for a violation(s) of the District of Columbia food code regulations," which "presents an imminent health hazard(s) to the public."

"Food safety and cleanliness is a top priority at Popeye's. This restaurant has been temporarily closed, and the franchisee who owns and operates this location is taking the appropriate steps to address the issue," a representative for the chicken chain told Inside Edition.

However, the former Popeyes employees is now under fire for exposing the restaurant.

Land posted a follow up TikTok captioned "when they demonize you for doing the right thing" showing a GoFundMe page that reveals that he was suspended from the restaurant for exposing the infestation.

@blaqazzrick01

When they demonize you for doin the right thing please help

♬ COMMA$ - Curtis Roach

"I will not be able to afford rent food or any other necessities to keep my home," he wrote. "I ask that you beautiful people please donate."

The GoFundMe had raised more than $17,563 as of late Thursday afternoon.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Branding

ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Business News

Sony Pictures Entertainment Purchases Struggling, Cult-Favorite Movie Theater Chain

Alamo Drafthouse originally emerged from bankruptcy in June 2021.