……..Have you seen some of them yet? This is just the aftermath of the Nightmare Applebee’s has created for themselves. It’s fallen off the national spotlight (as is the nature of media today), which is why I wanted to wait until now to write something about it. (I have my reasons. One is because I think Applebee’s has the worst food of any of the casual franchises. I’m not a fan. This just solidifies my need to not step in Applebee’s)
1) They fired the employee that was directly effected by the customer that refused to tip her for certain reasons. If you don’t want to tip, fine but don’t go out-of-the-way to make sure they know why you didn’t tip them. Instead of firing this young woman for publishing the receipt online, perhaps a short suspension and education on the company social media was given to her (If Applebee’s even has one. Judging from what I have seen on Facebook with them, they don’t.)
2) Within a matter of hours, they literally ruined their brand or one person ruined their brand. Whoever runs their Social Media screwed up. From what I have read and heard, they deleted information people posted, lied, took down websites among other things.
I don’t want to spend my article talking about why I can’t stand them, so I would like to offer a solution.
How Applebee’s can recover from the debacle.
1) Create a Social Media Policy Organization, Franchise and Employee wise. Create simple limits that can easily be shared with all employees. If needed, make them train for it.
2) Reinstate the employee. (Well, if they ever want to work there again. Which I highly doubt.) Considering the woman fired will probably never work at an Applebee’s again should something like this happen again instead of a direct firing, perhaps a suspension and training is in order. Getting fired seemed excessive, especially considering no private information was shown other than the amount of the ticket.
3) Giveaway’s. Not at all Applebee’s but this specific one. The incident happened in my hometown, St. Louis. I know which Bee this happened at. Perhaps to help bring support back, they should offer a lot of discounts and start some customer loyalty programs to help bring customers back in.
Regardless, their brand has been tarnished. It will be for a while until they actually deal with the problem. To me it looks like there was a complete breakdown in communication. The Bee will bounce back, however it will take some time.
Just like Content is King, Communication is Key. You can’t run the machine if all the parts aren’t working in sync.
Here is some final food for thought: Social Media speech is protected even if your boss hates it.
Far From Idle
Come. Find out why.