A company’s survival depends on their ability to manage a crisis. Effective crisis management has become an essential part of business in the modern age. Social media can make a negative crisis spread like wildfire and tarnish your brand within 24 hours. An example of a company that was successful in their crisis management attempts is Domino’s Pizza.
In 2009, Domino’s Pizza faced a major challenge when a video was leaked on YouTube of two of their employees contaminating food in a kitchen that was to be served to customers in a Domino’s Pizza franchise in Conover, North Carolina. As you could imagine this did serious damage to the brand’s image as social media helped the spread of this video like no crisis before. Domino’s were in deep trouble and needed to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
Days later, after the damage had been done, the Domino’s Pizza Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Doyle released a video of his own. He acknowledged the damage that was caused and gave a sincere apology to all stakeholders involved in the situation. Even though the CEO is clearly reading off cue cards the apology video was a success and helped to minimise the damage caused due to a number of factors. Firstly, showing a human face was important as it gives a more sincere picture of apology which Patrick Doyle portrayed his apology with conviction. It was important to show that Domino’s Pizza are doing everything within their power to rectify the situation. The Employees were dismissed, warrants were out for their arrests, the particular branch was sanitised and the company were “Re-evaluating their hiring practices”. Finally, it was important for Domino’s to emphasise the need for forgiveness, this was done through the CEO stating “Nothing is more important or scared to us than our customers trust”.
Domino’s Pizza redeemed themselves through effective crisis management and many companies will continue to use this as an example of how to manage a crisis effectively.