Skip to comments.Food for Thought; What Wendy's learned from the fingertip hoax (Wendy CEO speaks eloquently)
Posted on 05/20/2005 10:39:22 PM PDT by CHARLITE
There's nothing quite as unnerving as becoming the target of fraud. For us at Wendy's, that nightmare became reality when a customer falsely accused the Wendy's on Monterey Road in San Jose, Calif., of putting a human fingertip in a bowl of chili. Within an hour the story was on TV news, and soon after, Wendy's was fodder for Jay Leno. It was painful for us to watch unfold.
In the early hours of this crisis, we were faced with demanding questions. How we chose to respond was critical.
The exposure of this hoax by authorities has completely vindicated Wendy's. While this has been a difficult time, we're bouncing back. We are grateful to the millions of customers who remained loyal to us as this story unfolded. We know that it will take some time before business gets entirely back to normal, but we're very encouraged by the message we're hearing from our customers and employees.
The disturbing truth for everyone in the business community is that a devastating fraud can be perpetrated by a single individual. And the ramifications to a company's reputation are frightening. What is often lost in the hoopla is the personal price paid by the employees who have mortgages, children to feed and medical bills to pay. These are innocent people just trying to earn an honest living, but who end up the real victims. It may not be possible to completely safeguard a company's profits, reputation and employees, but the lessons learned from this crisis are clear: Stay true to your values in good times and bad. This was an arduous test of our resolve as a company. But I think it's at times like this that your customers and your employees get a true measure of who you really are.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
The perps have a real future in journalism when they get out of jail!!!! Who knows, maybe they can start writing their fanciful columns while in jail.... they'll be real heroes to the idiot left....
Nice to see that Wendy's maintains the standards set by Dave Thomas. Concern for the employees is rare these days. I should go out of my way to one for lunch.
Don't forget to order your "chiliFingers" ;)
I have to go by and give them some business as well. i keep forgeting to go at lunch.
I've gone to Wendy's twice since the finger fraud unravelled, and that's the first I've gone to Wendy's in over a decade. I've ordered chili both times too. =)
I ate at Wendy's about once every two weeks before the finger claim, and about once every two weeks AFTER the finger claim. I did appreciate the free frosty last Friday.
After the State is finished with the fraudsters, I hope Wendy's sues them for everything they own, have owned, or will ever own. Don't leave a cent for the children. Instead, put them in foster homes where they may learn right from wrong.
Didn't know, Thanks for the "quickie" lesson :)
Hmmm, maybe I'll make a point of picking up a Frosty. I don't think there's anything else on their menu I'd eat, finger or no.
People like this are judgment proof...
Personally, I never believed this story and always thought it was fabricated.
I've eaten at Wendy's ever since they became the first fast food place near my work to take ATM/debit cards. I'm always too cheap to go get $10-20 and pay $2.50 in ATM fees. So Wendy's got my 4 day a week business.
I'll be a loyal customer until Sonic comes to Pittsburgh, then.... well.... no customer service improvements they could offer could keep me away from a double Sonic burger with cheese.
Then they should sue all the MSM a-holes that gleefully reported it AS FACT!
Great stories and lessons. They didn't spend their lives
I'm just glad all this crap didn't go down when Dave Thomas was alive.
That guy had class.
There are no Wendy's convenient to where I work or live, but if there was I would be stopping by once a week or so. I've always liked their Chili-Fries. Alas, the restaurants in Japan don't sell the big, juicy triple-burgers I remember fondly from the States.
Their morning menu kinda stinks, too.
This incident has several important "lessons to learn".
1. Reputations take years to build and can be damaged in an instant.
2. It is hard to prove a negative ... but it can be done.
3. Late-night talk show hosts wield a lot of power.
4. When people steal or scam from a corporation because "it's big and impersonal and won't miss the loss", lots of little people can get hurt (layoffs, loss of overtime, loss of reputation).
5. Paying off falsified, bogus lawsuits to avoid more publicity has probably caused more scams and hoaxes. Doing what Wendy's has done in this case will probably prevent this in ways we will never know.
I know that at one time, Dave Thomas was supporting a scholership program at Duke for foundlings. Sometimes when he was in Durham for that program, he'd stop by and see how the restaurants were doing. I know people who were served their Triple w/cheese by Dave himself.
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