Crisis Management and Crisis Communications for the Food and Beverage Industry

Addressing a crisis at a restaurant or bar can be disastrous if the fallout is not handled correctly. Restaurants that opt to handle emergencies in-house may quickly find themselves in hot water because problems related to food services can morph into public health issues.

Red Banyan’s F&B public relations experts have years of experience handling PR for the food and beverage industry and understand how critical a proper response can be. If a restaurant or bar does not handle its public relations correctly during a crisis, the lasting effects can cause permanent damage to the business’s reputation.

Unhappy diners are often quick to post negative reviews on social media when they are dissatisfied, and the long-term results can be devastating. How you react during a crisis can mean the difference between “business as usual” and “out of business.” With guidance from Red Banyan’s specialists in crisis management for food and beverage, you will learn how to respond with helpful information in a manner that will also protect your organization’s reputation.

The coronavirus pandemic has further complicated restaurant operations and put COVID-19 public relations and crisis management practices front and center. Customers want to know what safety precautions restaurants and bars have implemented. They also want to know whether businesses practice social distancing and require staff and customers to wear masks.

Because Red Banyan specializes in COVID-19 PR matters, our public relations professionals can help create messaging and PR campaigns that will give your customers a clear picture of what your restaurant is doing to protect them from any possible exposure.

Our team of crisis communications experts will help your managers choose crisis management team members, so you are prepared before any problems occur. We will teach you how to respond in a crisis and make sure your communications are informative, thoughtful and carefully timed.

How to Handle a PR Crisis in Your Restaurant

To properly prepare for a food-safety crisis, you must have a written crisis communications plan in place before you need one. Red Banyan’s food and beverage crisis PR experts will help you choose a crisis communications team and define each member’s responsibilities.  Our crisis PR professionals will outline a list of to-dos and then stage practice drills with everyone on the team. We will also help your business select a company spokesperson, and then train that individual so he or she is comfortable dealing with the media and prepared to conduct on-camera interviews.

Crises involving food safety can be alarming, but it is important to remain calm. Do not panic. It is also essential that your business deliver news of the emergency to the public before the media delivers the news to the public. Being first will enhance your credibility and prove that you are not trying to cover up something that could affect someone’s health.

Red Banyan’s crisis PR team has experience handling complicated situations involving food safety and will guide you through the process. Our team of communications professionals will also teach your company spokesperson how to handle questions from the media and instruct your spokesperson what to say and how to say it.

The restaurant business is a people-oriented business so it is critical that you show concern for anyone who may have been affected by your business’s internal crisis. Red Banyan’s social media professionals will also monitor all your company’s social media channels and answer any questions or comments, while keeping watch for negative commentary.

It is important to remember that crises involving restaurants and food are human safety issues that must be kept in perspective. How you handle such a crisis will either portray your business as caring or self-interested. A food safety crisis can be an opportunity to put a human face on your business, so you are simply only focused on profits.

Red Banyan’s crisis communications team will help your restaurant or bar craft a statement that can be posted on all your social media channels as well as your website. It is important to reach everyone who is associated with your brand, whether they are sympathetic customers or angry restaurant guests. All stakeholders need to be informed of the actions your company is taking to address the crisis so everyone can move forward.

Red Banyan’s social media experts will craft regular updates for sites so all stakeholders, as well as members of the public, know what is happening. A key takeaway from F&B public relations is to expect the unexpected and be ready for anything. A crisis can occur at any time. The best thing businesses can do is be ready for a crisis before one occurs.

Crisis Management Planning for Restaurants and the Food and Beverage Industry

When crises occur, it is easy to get upset but it is important to remain calm. Getting the facts right tops Red Banyan’s list of crisis management tips. Do your research, ask lots of questions and make sure all public statements are accurate.

Another important tip is to make sure you show compassion. Red Banyan’s crisis communications experts know through decades of experience that companies that appear uncaring during crises do not fare well in the court of public opinion.

The food and beverage industry is one that requires taking responsibility for people’s lives and health. Red Banyan’s crisis communications PR experts will teach you how to deal with the media to make sure you do not appear aloof or indifferent. How you handle a people-oriented emergency will leave a lasting impression – either good or bad – on your customers. Whether their loyalty to your brand remains true will often be determined by how you address the crisis