Monday, July 11, 2011

KFC employees playing with your food.

Malaysia's Version of "Playing with your food"

If you have been following the Social Media crisis that happened to Dominos in 2009 (or 2010) 2 employees shared a series of videos about their disgusting behavior in the kitchen when they played with your food. Well, there is a Malaysia version which involves KFC employees now.

In June 2011, someone uploaded these videos and there was an uproar. Although KFC Malaysia may have acted on this crisis, their reputation of having flies in their restaurant and "slow moving" employees that give bad service does not really help them in dealing with the crisis either.

En. Mohammad Alwi, KFC Malaysia’s Director of Restaurant Operations, made a personal address to the public in two languages – Malay and English. In the video, he apologizes and ensures customers that KFC Malaysia has taken action to prevent the same incident from happening. Here’s how:

1. Cameras in kitchens: KFC Malaysia has installed cameras to make sure that the kitchen team can be held accountable for their actions.

2. Appoint supervisors: One lead cook will be appointed at every kitchen to supervise the food preparation process.

3. Improve the training program: The training program will be made more rigorous to ensure employees understand the value of KFC and food hygiene.


This is a lesson that many companies in the world must learn. No matter how big or small a restaurant chain is, it is important to have a social media policy and good training guidelines on the consequences on behaviors on social media.

It will take years to build your reputation, and with a small antic and video on YouTube, the confidence you may have built will be destroyed.

A lot more may be mitigated if KFC Malaysia engages regularly with their fans and supporters, and build up a community who can help monitor and defend its brand. Leveraging on staff, and empowering them as the voice to reach out, I really doubt such an incident will happen. Perhaps poor training + badly treated staff without background checks.


I felt that the reply video from the director of operations was not sufficient. The case does not seem resolved and there seem to be not enough actions taken by authorities to the staff involved to show that there was any serious consequences.

The Malaysia Food and Safety board did not even investigate, and this is even more troubling as it shows that the food safety level in the country is pretty much no present!

My guess is that this is not became a full blown crisis as the Dominos crisis yet, and as such, not much is done, and there will probably be more to come as companies are still slow to embrace social media.

But for those who do, at least they will be well prepared and hopefully their staff will not create a social media crisis for them.

-- Robin Low

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