Damage Control: How To Recover from Kitchen Nightmares

Everyone screws up.  It happens, and even I’ve had major screw ups in my professional career.  People make mistakes and that is just the way of life.  Just as important as the mistake that is made, is how you recover from it.  When all eyes are watching you recover, you really need to take a moment on how you are being perceived and try to do the right thing.  In this blog post I’m going to talk about Damage Control: How To Recover from Kitchen Nightmares and other professional blunders. 

Here is a highlight from Kitchen Nightmares’ season finale.

If you have time, you can watch the whole episode here: http://youtu.be/3XjgHEctcy0 (Recommended TRT 41Min)

I couldn’t believe how these owners reacted while watching the show.  Pizza’s taking over 1 hour, cold and flavorless meals, and a wait staff that doesn’t earn tips.  All of this aired during primetime on Fox and the pain didn’t stop there.  After the show people took to their Facebook page to leave their thoughts.  Here are actual posts that came from the Admin of Amy’s Baking Company Bistro page (some swearing):

Whatever the reason these were posted, this was their latest post on the recent rampage:

Amy's Baking Company Hacked

Whether or not the account was hacked is up to your discretion.  Personally I doubt it was and I really don’t think the FBI gets involved with Facebook password blunders but that’s besides the point.   Your business has been made to look like a joke and your owners now look like complete fools to a large part of the target demographic.  What do you do now.

There are three options:

  • Close Up Shop and Find a New Profession
  • Do Nothing And Move Forward
  • Rebrand and Disassociate from the Past

You may want to close up and find a new hobby.  At this point this may not be a bad idea however I have no idea who would have seen this episode would still hire you.

Doing nothing and moving forward seems like a plan but if you don’t address your issue (s) head on, it’s going to be the deciding factor that drives your business into the ground.

Re-branding will be the only option for you to move forward.  Right now the business is soured by both the owners and the services it offers.  This is a complete lose-lose scenario.  If you want to turn this around you need to gut and rebuild the brand.  Here is how you do it:

  1. Rebrand the business with a new name and style.  Your company name has so much bad press, there is no way you can really recover from this.  The internet isn’t as forgiving as people are at forgetting.  When people who don’t know you look at reviews online, they will find all of your dirt.
  2. Consider changing what you offer.  Instead of offering a sit down dinner, Gordon Ramsey had complemented the desserts.  They were all hand-made by the owner and, according to Gordon, were absolutely delicious.  Ditch the dinners, and go 100% into baking.
  3. Remove the owners from the equation.  Both of the owners have poisoned the business and no matter where they go, they will poison that business too.  Either don’t show your faces outside of the kitchen, or hire a completely new staff to run everything.  I believe that Amy might be a fantastic baker, but an outspoken owner like that will turn every customer away no matter how good your food is.

Keep the same place but bring out a new name, new products, and an under new management sign fast.  In this case, this is the best route the owners can go just short of closing its doors.  Did you watch the episode?  What were your thoughts on their customer experience?

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