Some people just don't get it.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post as an addendum to Gary Grates' excellent insight as to what Taco Bell should do for crisis management in light of its recent E. Coli scare. Basically, Taco Bell should have taken quicker accountability for the outbreak and use the crisis as a rallying point to build leadership and be better.
Obviously, Taco Bell did not get the memo.
Two weeks later, Greg Creed, President of Taco Bell writes an open letter to Kevin Federline (yes, Mr. Popo Zao himself) to invite the erstwhile K-Fed to work a one hour shift at one of its locations. Here's a snippet of this letter:
"Come work for us, just for a one hour shift. We'll get you a uniform, a custom name tag and show you what a great place Taco Bell is to work. We'll even reward customers who visit that restaurant with an order of our new Carne Asada Steak Grilled Taquitos for free."
Here's my open letter to Greg:
Mr. Greg Creed
Taco Bell Corp.
17901 Von Karman
Irvine, CA 92614
Dear Mr. Creed,
First off, congratulations on Governor Ed Rendell visiting your Franklin Mills Taco Bell in Pennsylvania. You generated a lot of great publicity from it. We know that the bottom line is that you respect your customers.
Well hey, I'm a customer. I used to be a big fan of your breakfast menu until the whole E. Coli outbreak. So let me say this:
Cheap publicity stunts will not cut it. You can get the Governer Ed Rendell or K-Fed...heck, you can get the Governator or Right Said Fred. It doesn't matter to this customer. Taco Bell's lack of action when the E. Coli crisis broke made me more sick than the virus itself.
Why don't you take a page out of Jim Skinner's playbook and work on being better? McDonald's figured out that bigger isn't better. Celebrity faces isn't better either. Better is better. Take care of your employees, your customers and assure us your food is safe with additional measures that affirm that your food is safe. As a secondary note of caution, Mr. Federline doesn't necessarily scream "sanitary" to me either.
I encourage you to "Think Inside the Shell" and hope you take action to work on Taco Bell's internal operations and customer experiences. Afterall, I know your customers come first at Taco Bell.
Note: Special thanks to John Moore (my new favorite blogger) and his outstanding commentary on "better is better" for inspiring this post.