Does this nasty incident sound familiar to anyone else?
An alleged employee of a Burger King location in Northwest Ohio posted a nauseating image of someone standing atop two lettuce bins, with the caption: “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.”
The image was posted to the website 4Chan on July 16. Yahoo’s Shine blog said it took the hacking group Anonymous a mere 15 minutes to track down the alleged culprits and expose them.
Burger King is playing this one close to the chest, telling media outlets that food safety is a top priority and that three employees had been fired as a result. It didn’t comment on the circumstances surrounding the picture. Thus far it’s been all quiet on the social media front, with the company’s Twitter feed and Facebook page avoiding the topic.
Perhaps this incident reminds you of the social media firestorm that hit Domino’s Pizza after two employees posted a video to YouTube showing them defiling food.
The video went viral and the pizza chain experienced a swift PR backlash, partly because it waited days to respond. Ultimately, Domino’s launched a Twitter account to answer questions about the incident, posted a notice on its website, and filmed a YouTube video of its CEO responding to the crisis. The multi-pronged effort helped stem the tide of negative attention, but its effects linger online. Google “Domino’s Pizza” and on the first page of results is a news story on the matter.
If history is our judge, Burger King will have to do more than issue a vague statement on the matter if it hopes to avoid a PR crisis.