Beef Safety Leader

McDonald’s: The Beef Safety Leader

When McDonald’s Corporation received word of the first positive case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), known as Mad Cow Disease, diagnosed in a dairy cow in the United States, the company knew it needed to take swift action.

Early the next morning, a cross-functional corporate team from Communications/Media, Government Relations, Marketing, Operations, Supply Chain and Senior Management assembled to review the already-developed contingency plan, which included “what if” scenarios, and enacted a crisis plan.

The Grossman Group, the company’s Internal Communications Agency of Record, worked directly with company teams from the start to create a crisis plan and a clear path to implementation.

The results speak for themselves.

  • More than 60% of consumer survey participants rated McDonald’s as having the highest standards and most stringent safety protocol in the restaurant industry, exceeding U.S. government regulations. 72% of consumers surveyed believed that the BSE case in the Northwest had no connection to McDonald’s or its suppliers. 61% felt that McDonald’s has provided leadership on BSE safety at every level of the food supply chain for years.
  • There was no sales impact in the affected market or nationally from the BSE incident. Sales the month of the BSE case were up 12%, guest counts were up 6.2%.
  • 97% of employees felt they received enough information to respond appropriately to questions regarding BSE. 92% of employees felt they were well informed to act as an ambassador of McDonald’s Brand
  • Internally, 99% of employees felt that they received ample information regarding Beef Safety communications.

Categories: Managing Internal Crisis Communications