Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Crisis Communications: Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh Responds to Channel News Asia Report

Crisis Communications: Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh Responds to Channel News Asia Report

Yesterday, Channel News Asia reported that Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh Simpang Bedok outlet had been suspended by NEA for 2 weeks for hygiene breaches. The news went viral.

However, unlike other companies in Singapore who face a social media crisis, Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh responded in textbook fashion according to our crisis communications framework – open, 100% truthful, timely, social media present and broadly communicated.

crisis communications soon huat bak kut teh

Within 2 hours (timely), Soon Huat’s founder, Jabez Tan, issued a clarification to say Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh had indeed been suspended by NEA for food preparation offences (open). He then went on to clarify that the “prepared food on the floor”, reported in the media, referred to 30kg of frozen pork ribs (sealed in plastic bags) that was left out to thaw in a crate on the floor. He also posted a picture of the pork ribs and went on accept responsibility for not complying fully with food preparation guidelines (100% Truthful). Jabez’s clarification was made on numerous platforms (including social media) and he even had notices at his other outlets. (broadly communicated and social media present).

While it is too soon to tell whether Soon Huat’s business will be affected by the bad publicity, but judging from netizens’ response to the clarification, we believe that Jabez Tan has done well in managing this crisis and Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh will emerge from this with stronger brand awareness - all publicity is good publicity if you know how to handle it.

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