6 steps Applebee’s should have taken to manage its PR crisis

The restaurant has taken many PR missteps since a server posted a customer’s receipt online. Here’s how it could have avoided them.

One would think that in 2013 anyone who does social media professionally has the social Web figured out, particularly when one works for a big brand that has hundreds of thousands of customers who know how to use Facebook and Twitter.

But I guess we know what happens when one assumes.

Let’s take Applebee’s as case in point. The Mercury News sums up the situation quite nicely:

“A waitress at a St. Louis Applebee’s lost her job for posting online the receipt upon which a pastor had declined to leave a tip, with a snarky note saying she gave God 10 percent.

“After her dinner on Jan. 25, Pastor Alois Bell crossed out the automatic 18 percent tip charged for parties of more than eight. “I give God 10% why do you get 18,” she wrote above her signature.

“Employee Chelsea Welch—a colleague of the stiffed server—took a picture of the receipt and uploaded it to the online site Reddit. She subsequently lost her job, an Applebee’s spokesman confirmed to TheSmokingGun.com, for violating a customer’s privacy.”

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