Addressing food safety concerns for a major restaurant chain

A major client that operates more than 425 quick-service restaurants in 25 states turned to Padilla Speer Beardsley when its success was threatened in 2006. The problem: Potential E. coli contamination was reported at two Minnesota franchises and one in Iowa.

Padilla’s crisis team quickly went to work, helping coordinate the response to the outbreak. We created a one-day news-conference “tour” so company executives could visit the three affected communities and assure the public of their restaurants’ safety.

Padilla directed the media relations and logistics surrounding all three conferences, where the restaurant chain’s CEO and executive team allayed customer concerns with information about independent lab tests, safety initiatives with vendors, and internal standards and training.

Padilla coordinated every aspect of the news conferences, including photo opportunities of the executive team enjoying meals at the three franchise locations. Dozens of local and regional media outlets covered the conferences, delivering the messages and visuals the clients wanted: The quality and safety of their food is priority No.1, and measures are in place to meet the strictest industry standards.

The parent company conducted post-press conference meetings with franchise owners, who praised the public communications during the crisis. The franchise owners also shared positive feedback they received from customers concerning the company’s comprehensive response to the situation.

Case Study


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