Why social media policies for employees is important for your brand.

Commentary: We’ve seen it before. WalMart employees posting videos of them chucking iPads carelessly across a loading dock. Subway and Burger King employees ruining perfectly good food with their feet. To make matters worse (and public), employee continue to post these photos to their personal accounts. This week’s victim? Taco Bell, where an employee posted a photo of himself licking a stack of tacos. (Presumably Doritos Locos® Cool Ranch because they are the tastiest… but that’s speculation of my own.)

To boot, Taco Bell is now being associated with the hashtag #TacoLicker on Twitter. Furthermore, the negative hashtag is being perpetuated by social media giants like BuzzFeed. Talk about PR disaster. In all, let’s learn from mistakes like this and arm our brands with stricter social media policies. When photos like this surface, brands and employers should have the power terminate the perpetrators in less time than it took to post the Facebook photo in the first place.

AdWeek:

Taco Bell Promises ‘Swift Action’ After Employee Tongues Tacos on Facebook

Silly-and-disgusting pic goes viral By Christopher Heine

Well before the Internet, the quick-serve restaurant industry was challenged by disgusting tales or urban legends of what possibly happens to customer food before it’s brought to the table. Social media has brought evidence of such food-tampering (sometimes done as a prank, for sure) to the fore in recent years, and Taco Bell is the latest brand to suffer from unfortunate pictures on the subject surfacing on Facebook or Twitter.

A photo of a Taco Bell employee in California licking a stack of hard shell tacos was posted by a consumer to the brand’s Facebook page last night. The pic went viral and was picked up by such outlets as the Consumerist.

Adweek reached out to the Irvine, Calif.-based fast-food giant today about the situation and received the following response:

Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and team members, and we have strict food handling procedures and zero tolerance for any violations. When we learned of the situation we immediately contacted this restaurant’s leadership and although we believe it is a prank and the food was not served to customers, we are conducting a full scale investigation and will be taking swift action against those involved.

Yeah, it sounds like somebody might get fired.

At any rate, the development brings up memories of other QSR-based social media nightmares involving food—namely Burger King’s feet-in-lettuce fiasco in 2012 and Domino’s snot-focused snafu four years ago.

Click here to read the full AdWeek article. I’m renaming it the “Taco Debacle”.

About Felicia Johnson