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Rogue employee at Pizza Hut creates plenty of bad press February 21, 2014

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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A regional manager of several West Virginia Pizza Hut franchises created some pretty bad press for his company recently, after being spotted in a surveillance video urinating in a sink in the food prep area. The video leaked in February and went viral quickly. The employee was seen using a computer before stepping up to the sink behind him and relieving himself. He turned on the faucet briefly, presumably to “flush.” It took little time for the manager to be fired, and Pizza Hut released the following statement:

“Pizza Hut has zero tolerance for violations of our operating standards, and the local owner of the restaurant took immediate action and terminated the employee involved. While the isolated incident occurred during non-business hours and did not involve any food tampering, we follow strict safety and handling procedures and the restaurant has since been closed. We apologize to our customers of Kermit, West Virginia and those in our system who have been let down by this situation.”

Rogue employees like the manager in this incident aren’t all that unusual, and they pose serious dangers for big business. A Burger King employee from Cleveland created similar news stories in 2012 after posting photos of himself standing in buckets of lettuce.  Another Burger King employee was caught bathing in his restaurant’s sink in 2008. Domino’s Pizza was also caught in an embarrassing episode in 2009, after a few employees at one franchise posted video of themselves putting cheese in their nose and rubbing sandwiches on their private parts.

For more on the latest episode involving Pizza Hut, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Are companies to blame for the actions of their rogue employees?

2.  Was Pizza Hut’s response to the latest story of a rogue employee sufficient in repairing its image? Why, or why not?

3.  How has the internet era (especially after the development of social media and modern mobile technology) exacerbated the problem of rogue employees?

Rogue employees, smartphones, post big threat to big business July 13, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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You have probably heard the story about the Burger King employee who posted a video to the internet showing him bathing in a restaurant sink. Or the story about Domino’s employees who posted videos of themselves blowing their noses and spitting into food. These stories have harmed reputations of fast food chains across America. These stories have proved the dangers of a few employees with smartphones.

Sometimes these rogue employees have good intentions, though, even if their actions can be just as destructive. This week is a perfect example. In one recent story, an employee at a Golden Corral in Florida posted video of raw hamburger patties, baby back ribs, pot roast, chicken, and other meat products stacked outside next to a dumpster. According to the employee, the manager placed the food outside to hide it from health inspectors. It was later moved inside and supposedly served to patrons. That video was viewed hundreds of thousands of times online. Another video receiving thousands of hits this week came from a Denny’s restaurant in Washington state. That video showed layers of food coating spaces under kitchen appliances, in addition to dirty dishes and disgusting surfaces throughout the restaurant. The Denny’s was quickly closed for a deep cleaning.

For more on both of the stories this week created by two rogue employees armed with smartphones, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  How do stories like those above impact the reputations of major businesses?

2.  How should businesses respond to videos taken by rogue employees?

3.  Are the rogue employees discussed above – in the context of Denny’s and Golden Corral – heroes?