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The Grind's Director Speaks Out: "We're Sorry and Have Learned From Our Mistakes"

Attendees at the Grind looking for fresh air outside a smoke-filled Miami Entertainment Complex.
Attendees at the Grind looking for fresh air outside a smoke-filled Miami Entertainment Complex.
Cari Garcia

Everyone seems to be questioning the Grind's logic of having its burger battle event indoors. Obviously, grilling is done outdoors for a reason.

But in an online statement, director Tony Albelo says months went into planning the event to ensure everything went smoothly, and they hired "HVAC contractors, fire equipment specialists, gas [contractors], fire marshals, and building inspectors."

As blogger Alex Rodriguez pointed out in her recap, an issue with the main air conditioner was to blame.


People also seem to be calling foul at Shake Shack's Fan Favorite win when so many things went wrong last night. However, publicist Dina Allende says in an email that "1,200 tokens were counted, and Shake Shack was the clear winner. The categories of Best Burger, Best Side, Mejor Frita, and Healthy Burger were not awarded due to the issues we had last night."

We emailed Allende to ask if refunds would be issued and are still awaiting a reply.

Here is Albelo's full statement:

Yesterday, we held the inaugural event of The Grind: Miami's Burger Battle. We spent eight months planning every detail in hopes that patrons and participating restaurants had an amazing experience. We met and hired HVAC contractors, fire equipment specialists, gas [contractors], fire marshals, and building inspectors. The event was well [diagrammed] and planned. As the night progressed we experienced a technical issue with our main air-conditioner. When we realized the issue we scrambled to bring in additional cooling systems and industrial fans to help. We were in constant communication with the fire marshal who decided to stop cooking for a period of 15 minutes to clear the building. The building did not clear quickly enough and the cooking never restarted.

It is our job to create the event and have plans - and backup plans in place. No one could have possibly foreseen an equipment failure. Quite frankly, we're embarrassed and deeply sorry that you were affected. We know that our apology and desire to make things better may never be enough for the time, money and/or distance you traveled to enjoy The Grind, but know this. We're deeply sorry and have learned from our mistakes.

Sincerely,
Tony Albelo
Director

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Miami Entertainment Complex (MEC)

50 NW 14th St.
Miami, FL 33136


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