Here we go again. A few years ago it was a fingertip in a bowl of Wendy’s chili. This time it’s a finger in a burger from Arby’s. Ick! Another fast food chain caught up in a crisis PR scenario. Since it just happened, we will watch it dramatically play out for all those involved. It looks like the PR team is immediately jumping to action with a response from the corporate communications director and the obligatory quote from the finger recipient and his mom. Of course, the company will be doing damage control immediately. What level of response would you expect the company to deliver in this case?

35 thoughts on “A Finger in your Food

  1. I believe that they will emphasize that it was an isolated incident. They will probably place blame on their supplier if possible, and take the side of the consumer. Using a similar strategy that nike had used during the sweat shop scandals. They well demand higher safety standards and greater quality control from their suppliers.

    1. i agree, i think the first thing they are going to do is try to pay off the victim so they can stay shut. Than they will come out and adress the public saying that it was a isolated event, after doing that they will conduct their damage control making sure the crisis doesnt get any bigger than it already is.

    2. I agree that emphasizing that the event was isolated was very effective. When talking with friends about the story, I found myself referencing back to that exact notion that the PR people of Arby’s stressed — that it only happened at one store, way in the Midwest. I think it also helps that since Arby’s are franchises, they are able to further stress this isolation as franchises can be run completely differently. The quick response from Arby’s PR people definitely helped to minimize the problem and reinforce the image that they are in control of the situation.

  2. First off, I am surprised that Arby’s cut their meats at the locations, good for them, but it has backfired on them. I would recommend that the company implements a new safety device to prevent this from happening again.

    1. I agree! I don’t understand why there was not a safety a safety device to prevent this from happening in the first place. If there was I wonder, (a) was it working properly? and (b) was it even on in the first place? I recommend Arby’s pays off the child and his mother to prevent any lawsuit and to keep the mishap from extending any further.

    2. I agree! I am surprised Arby’s did not already have a safety device already in place. I wouldn’t be surprised if several fingers have already been cut and just didn’t make it into someones food. I recommend they pay of the mom to keep the lid shut on the situation, but you know this is trending on Twitter as we speak.

    3. I was thinking the same thing about their meat being cut in their locations. It seems that this would be something that was done prior to being shipped to the stores.

    4. I agree that a new safety device would definitely be in order for Arby’s as a logical and effective response to the situation. If they implemented a device for the meat cutting that nearly eliminated the possibility of a worker cutting their finger again, it would restore much of my confidence and comfort if I chose to eat there. The next step would definitely be broadcasting that device and the hazards it eliminates to the public. I would also suggest undergoing a third party health inspection at random franchises throughout the year.

    5. I was also surprised to hear this. It makes me wonder if the employee in this situation really had the proper training to run the cutter and/or if he was work under any kind of supervision. Seems like there should be at least two people in the kitchen when someone is operating the slicer.

    6. I agree, Arby’s takes on a lot of risk by cutting meat at the store location. Both for consumers and employees. Some sort of safety device would be excellent in order to aviod this situation from happening again. If they did implement this type of device the public would be more willing to visit the restaurant again after this incident.

  3. I think Arby’s will apologize and blame the employee for not notifying anyone about the incident and leaving. They will most likely say that if the employee had told someone, the situation would have been completely avoided. Arby’s will probably make some changes to the procedure and process of cutting the meat to ensure the public that it continues to be a safe fast food restaurant. Arby’s should show some remorse by offer the young boy some type of compensation for the incident. This will show the public that it does care about consumers.

    1. I agree that if the employee had notified his manager it would have helped, but I’m not sure it would have completely dissolved the situation. It is clear through their actions of not closing the store that Arby’s was most concerned about profits, so who knows if they would have actually taken the correct steps once the employee notified them.

    2. I agree that they should let the public know something in their procedures or processes is changing to ensure an incident like this won’t happen again. It shows the public they are willing to change in order to better the service they offer, and that they care about the well-being of their employees & consumers.

  4. Since this is really true that the employee actually slice a finger, Arby’s will have to find a way to solve the problem. As in the past, similar situation were untrue such as Wendy’s. I believe that Arbys will have to change some its techniques on food handling. In addition, Arbys needs to do a public apology to the public and to the boy. Arbys will be really hard at this situation becuase, it might be one sandwich but what about other sandwich made during that time.

  5. I think that the company will take immidiate action in being very apologetic and taking responsibility in this matter. They should remind the public that this is a one time occurance and has never happened before. Also I think that they need to do higher inspections on their food before they send it out to customers. This finger probably passed through a few hands before being sent out to the customer.

    1. That’s a really good point about the finger passing through multiple hands! Also, you would think that other people working behind the counter would have seen the lady with a gushing finger and said something about it. Or that at least someone would have noticed that the person previously manning the meat cutting machine was no longer there. It definitely seems like the incident could have been minimized at the location, if the employees had been more aware of what was happening. Arby’s should go out to the location and ensure that corporate procedures are being followed, in addition to implementing new health and sanitary requirements.

  6. A free breakfast? That’s just what I want after a finger is found in my food….more food. I would say that this particular restaurant needs new management and safety standards. They also need to take it upon themselves to let their community know what they have done or are doing to make sure this never would happen again. Personally, if I lived in that town, I’d have a very hard time ever eating there after hearing this, so they have a lot of reputation damage to maintain.

  7. I think its interesting that Arby’s has not made any type on response on their website or facebook page. It could be that they are taking a wait and see approach but I don’t believe that will be an effective strategy. Its not enough for the company to simply use press releases and interviews. Arby’s should be using every available avenue to get their message across.

    1. It was kinda odd to me too that we havent heard anything further. I only heard about the initial incident and claims by the mother. I would love to know how they eventually handled the situation and if they came up with a resolution. They dont need to make this a huge deal, but i think they should let us know the outcome and if they plan on making any changes. I would alos like to know what they did in response to the boy and his allegations of nightmares and trauma.

  8. This was not the first crisis that happened in the fast food industry. Nonetheless, its the company’s responsibility to take action and be proactive in their PR plan to seize customers’ concerns. Also, the employee for not notifying anyone about the incident and leaving is the store’s manager responsibility. That restaurant should have been shut down and stopped their services fr at least couple hours until they can sort out the situation and inform the consumers about it.

  9. Considering how many times this incident has occurred with other companies in the fast food industry I think all companies have devised plan of actions’ if this happens. Arby’s should immediately responded to the incident by providing a sincere apology giving an explanation… even though it just shows poor store management. The sad thing is that even through all this happening, Arby’s will still be in business because consumers will soon forget about this ever happening just like all the other stories and how all the other businesses are still in business.

    1. Arby’s commented about how sorry they are for the incident and that they assure that they put the utmost quality into their food. I read another article saying that the teenage boy who had the finger in his sandwich is even having trouble sleeping at night and is terrified that he is going to catch a disease or something from having bitten completely into it. She explains that this incident has traumatized him which is sad to hear when all Arby’s did was issue an apology. I have still yet to hear if they have taken any further action and would be curious to find out if they did.

  10. On May 8, the Marc Jacobs store in Soho has been vandalized by french graffiti artist Kidult.
    Unlike other – fashion labels – victims (Hermes, Vuitton, …), the company cleverly appropriated it for its own branding strategy: Art by Art Jacobs.
    They launched a new tshirt with the picture of the vandalized store, sold for $680 ! http://www.marcjacobs.com/lookbooks/special-items/3fe7fd64-87a7-4c85-8824-2d0bf0c55b1f/art-by-art-jacobs-tee–689#?p=1&s=27&pp=0

    1. This is a very smart idea when come to turning threats into opportunities for businesses. Sometimes, strange ideas standout and benefit the business, not just in term of revenues, but in term of valuable creations and outside the boxes ideas

  11. First off, this is Arby’s… I think they they should take a reactive approach and try and settle the situation down, but I think they will just state that it was an isolated and that they are making steps to implement new safety features.
    People who like Arby’s are still going to eat there, and I think they’ll bounce back from this. Ultimately it was an accident so I don’t think it will become too big of a deal.

    1. Yes, people will still go back there. Fast food is a guilty pleasure that has most of its customers addicted. Eating fast food in itself is a dangerous decision. The quality of the ingredients used are at the bottom, and the customers are aware. They will always go back, to get their favorite cheap item. For example, Jack in the Box, had a severe bacterial outbreak in the meat they used in their tacos, which ended up killing several. To this day, they are still selling the same tacos, and they are still in business. I think if this were to happen at a finer establishment, it would have more severe ramifications to a company’s existence.

      1. It is unfortunate and sad that this kind of incident seem to happen occasionally, especially in the fast foods industry. We make fun, tell jokes about it, but really, its a serious problem that companies and businesses should take a look, analyse and implement the best strategy to operate the businesses and avoiding situation like this.

    2. I agree with you. At this point they should be reactive. They dont encounter this situation on a regular basis and im sure they do have proactive steps to try and ensure this event doesnt happen. I know this was a tramatic event for the young boy, but i dont think that Arby’s had this happen because they are a terrible business or are lacking in overall safety and health measures. I dont think this will blow up into a huge issue, but Arby’s should be more careful and perhaps train thier staff more efficiently.

  12. Even though this particular incident happened some time ago, I’ll still comment on how I think Arby’s should/should have responded. Because this is the type of story to make national news-which it did, Arby’s really needed to take action fast. They needed to address the incident immediately and let people know it was an isolated event. They should take full responsibility and offer the consumer some kind of compensation. I don’t think it will really effect Arby’s business nationally because most people will realize how far away the incident was, and it won’t be a factor when they decide where to eat.

  13. I dont necessarily think they should go all out. This was an isolated event and does not happen often. I do think that the issue needs to be addressed and all parties need to be informed. A public statement is warranted and the situation should be handled quick and responsibly. I dont think this incident will have a huge affect on Arby’s business. It may deter some for a minute, but the event will soon be out of people’s minds. It unfortunate that the boy is having nightmares and the comapny should help with that.

    1. I agree with Alisha, because I think that the company need to focus on the location of the event occured. The company don’t need to take a plunge into the problem as that much. The company just need to show sympathy to the customer and show the arbys communities that they are doing their best to solve the problem.

  14. that’s a really hard thing to imagine, but i think they will just pay them and make it as nothing happened and everything been said is not true.

  15. Well, I will tell you this. I would never eat Arby’s ever again if I found an appendage in my food. They did a good job of dealing with the issue and explaining that the geographical location made it insignificant to everyone else, ha-ha. That is alright, in these circumstances it worked out for the company and it brought the hype in the media from reaching a stage 5 alert of the entire world. Good job to the PR team at Arby’s. This one I assume you would throw all your money down on one color and pray to god that you see the light of day. I couldn’t imagine being the person writing this press release. How embarrassing. How do you put that on a job resume?

  16. Clearly certain procedures would need to be reevaluated! How a finger made it past their current standards is beyond me. In addition to making sure the public is aware that they are in the process of tightening up their current practices, it must also be sure to be overly grateful with its damages check written to that family!

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