Neigh! How Would You Handle Black Beauty in a Whopper?

This past week the web was buzzing with a Burger King scandal. Horsemeat was found in the UK franchise’s beef products. As if having pieces of Black Beauty in your Whopper wasn’t bad enough, let’s reflect on Taco Bell’s beef not being “100% beef”…and what was that pink sludge McDonalds uses for their chicken products?!
Lucky for Burger King, Taco Bell and McDonalds bounced back even after accusations and images went viral showcasing their questionable products. BK took the offense, attacking and accusing the meat distributors while playing the victim and claiming they had no idea horsemeat was being used. Most of these fast food companies have a scapegoat when situations arise. But I personally can’t take that explanation to heart and trust BK. The focus of your company is to serve food and you don’t know what meat you are serving customers? 

Even with these facts, people will believe the cookie-cutter “victim” responses publicized by the company’s representatives. In my opinion, representatives can handle these findings and accusations in a different manner. Here are a few ideas:

Tip #1: Credibility: When your company decides to change a recipe they want their publics trust back. How can you tell them that the food is OK to eat again? One way of doing this is providing a comment or separate statement from an expert in the food industry field. This is providing the public with an outside professional who gained credibility by working in the field of food.

Tip #2: Numbers: Words can mean so little, but when numbers back up statements validity skyrockets. Providing proof and detail in numbers for consumers would strengthen an argument. For example, showing results of a scientific study on how much beef is now really in the Taco Bell products.

Tip #3: Use your support group: get your consumers to put their personal word in. Having an opinion from someone who doesn’t have ties to the company makes a positive statement believable. Hold a focus group and have consumers test out the new and improved products, then report their findings.

Regardless of how companies respond Doritos Locos Tacos will still be consumed and McDonalds chicken nuggets will be in children’s Happy Meals. Someone get me the job of being a PR representative to these fast food chains. What do you think will finally wake people up and care about what they are consuming? Do you think the reps for these companies need to improve their responses?

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