Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille in Tallahassee closes after former employee warns public of COVID-19 mishandling
October is National Seafood Month!


Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille near the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee announced Friday it will close its doors after several team members tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement came, however, only hours after a former employee took to social media to warn the public that the restaurant is “not providing crucial public health information to potential customers.”

The former employee, Lauren Herod, accused the seafood joint of “running business as usual” despite six employees testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Herod detailed that only front of house employees who worked with the first sick worker were required to get tested before returning to work. Those working in the back of the house, however, were not required to be tested.

She also said that management took no additional sanitation measures in the restaurant.

“When it comes down to it, our staff is scared and our staff is angry,” Herod said in a Facebook post. “Angry that management, despite the current world climate, is choosing the financial stability of the company over the health and safety of the employees.”

Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille made no mention of Herod’s allegations in their Facebook announcement. But the restaurant said additional measures including contact tracing have been completed.

“We have a comprehensive sanitation and safety plan in place that meets and exceeds CDC guidelines,” the restaurant said on Facebook. “Despite all the additional measures and precautions, we must take a step back to ensure the continued safety of our employees and guests.”

Herod expressed that the post was not published with ill intent, but rather out of an abundance of care for the elderly including some of her loved ones.

“I just know that if my grandmother or elderly aunt lived in Tallahassee, I would want to know who was taking the necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety,” Herod wrote.

Herod added that the employees, many of whom are college students, were afraid to approach management about the issue.

“With a staff made up of almost entirely college students, we depend on the money from our jobs to pay our bills,” Herod wrote. “The thing is we aren’t willing to sacrifice our health because of it. Because of fear of retaliation by management, we are hoping that this can be an effective way to communicate our issues.”

The restaurant, which has a four star rating on Yelp and rests less than a mile from Florida State University, said it will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Kathleen Dalton

    June 21, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you, Ms. Herod, for daring to speak out. As someone who is in the high risk category, I really appreciate the risk you took to protect my health.

  • Anna Williams

    June 22, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Former employee? When did Ms Herod last work there ? If it was not recently, what did she base her “facts” on? Sounds like it was written by someone with plenty of ill intent. Ms. Herod should be ashamed of herself using a global pandemic to grind a personal ax.

    • Susan Barany

      June 23, 2020 at 8:30 am

      And you sound like someone connected with either this business or it’s industry.

  • Ray

    June 22, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Sounds like Ms. Herod had more than the public welfare with her remarks. If she wanted to protect her family pick up the phone. If current staff did not want to confront management – don’t report to work. They now don’t have to worry about their salaries because there aren’t any with the restaurant closed. I be Ms. Herod had issues with management way before her disclosure.

Comments are closed.


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