Panera’s missed opportunity offers crisis response lessons

The company cut ties with an employee whose viral TikTok video showed its frozen pasta being warmed in hot water before being served. Here’s how it could have seized a chance to shine.

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This article originally ran in 2019 and is part of our annual countdown of the most-viewed stories from PR Daily.

When a Panera Bread employee shot to internet fame for a video that showed frozen macaroni servings being warmed in a hot water bath, her boss took action.

The company sent out spokeswoman Jessica Hesselschwerdt to explain its food preparation practices—and it cut ties with the employee.

USA Today reported:

On Friday, the poster confirmed on Twitter that “she lost (her) job for this video.” She explained in another follow-up TikTok video that “I was told we had to part ways” due to the original clip going viral beyond any measure.

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