Jeremy North opened Fantastically Fresh in 2010. From the very beginning, the restaurant got great reviews: diners raved about it on social media, and the local TV station’s Secret Gourmet gave it five stars.
Almost every day, reservations were booked solid and customers were lined up waiting for tables. Fantastically Fresh was the talk of the town; its reputation could not have been better.
Then something went wrong. After a surprise inspection, the local Public Health Department ordered Fantastically Fresh shut down due to serious health code violations: fifty-one in all, with twelve of them ranked as critical. These included improper sanitation, food stored at unsafe temperatures, and gross contamination of food preparation surfaces.
Saving the Business
The Fantastically Fresh Head Chef, Jeremy discovered, had neglected matters of basic cleanliness. Asked by a reporter about the health code violations, the chef made matters worse by snapping, “I just cook food. It’s not like I’m a surgeon!”
Jeremy fired him immediately. That same day, he contacted Reputation Sciences, a leading brand management and digital marketing firm, for helping in saving the business.
Fantastically Fresh was shuttered for more than a month, as Jeremy North and his team addressed the Health Department issues, and conferred with Reputation Sciences. Before reopening, he hired a new chef with an excellent culinary background, and perhaps more important, a reputation for being a stickler about sanitation, and following Health Department guidelines.
Jeremy North understood that re-launching Fantastically Fresh after a reputation crisis was a serious matter. “A restaurant needs to worry about its reputation more than an ordinary business,” a Reputation Sciences expert told him. “A hardware store doesn’t have to worry about its products making customers sick, but you do.”
With the guidance of this expert, Fantastically Fresh launched a campaign to re-establish its online reputation, and its standing in the business community. “He said the time had come to make some serious online noise,” Jeremy recalled. The campaign included:
Once Fantastically Fresh reopened for business, they needed to let the world know. With Reputation Sciences help, they used social media, along with print and electronic media, to tell the community they were back, and better than ever.
Reputation Sciences Review Management platform allowed the restaurant to monitor, track and respond to online reviews.
- Encouraging positive reviews
Reputation Sciences set up Fantastically Fresh profiles on multiple customer review sites, including Yelp and Google Local. Customers were encouraged to share their experiences.
Back in Business
Fantastically Fresh re-opened its doors at the start of September. By November, they once again were the talk of the town; business was nearly back to what it had been. With the start of the New Year, Jeremy North was confident that the entire episode would soon be a dim memory – unpleasant, but a valuable learning experience.
Reputation Sciences is a leading brand management and digital marketing company that partners with its clients to define and grow their business by establishing an effective online presence.