Public relations experts say it’s key to make sure your restaurant’s crisis plan is in place and updated—at all times.

“It certainly is a ‘pay me now’ or ‘pay me later’ scenario,” says David Oates of San Diego-based Stalwart Communications, which offers crisis public relations for restaurants and other businesses. “This is a really good lesson for other restaurants to look at their organization and see what they’ve done.”

Key communications

When sharing information in the wake of a PR crisis, the order of communications matters, Oates says. It may seem that sending a press release apology to the media is a good first step, but it’s not. Employees should always be looped in before anyone else, he says, using the most effective mode of communication to reach them, whether it’s emails, texts or social media.

“Employees are your frontline communicators,” Oates says. “Your employees are the frontline marketing corporate communications people.”


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