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Gross Golden Corral Video Gets Manager Fired

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By Betty Wang, JD on July 10, 2013 12:45 PM

After a rather gross Golden Corral video went viral, a manager at one of the buffet chain's franchise locations has been fired.

Employee Brandon Huber posted a two-minute video that showed some of the restaurant's practices went completely against protocol. Huber's video showed raw burger patties and baby back ribs, placed on trays right next to the outdoor trash bins behind the restaurant.

"This hamburger meat, look at all these flies, this is disgusting, all this food," Huber said in the video, which he uploaded to YouTube. You can see the video here:

The owners of the Golden Corral franchise in Port Orange, Florida, insist that none of the food shown in the video was ever served to customers. In fact, Huber even helped to dispose of it, the franchisee said in a statement, according to NBC News. "The manager involved in the improper storage was terminated," the statement continued.

With more disgruntled customers and even employees becoming video vigilantes these days, how would you have handled a similar situation affecting your business?

Here are some steps that you may want to consider:

  • Launch an investigation. Not only is a routine investigation good for ensuring that your business is up to code with all relevant laws and policies, but it's the first step you should take if a viral video reveals something out of the ordinary. Conduct interviews, check security footage, and do whatever else is appropriate and necessary to pinpoint what happened and who's responsible.
  • Discipline if necessary. Once you find out who's behind the alleged violation, discipline as necessary. Whether this be a stern reminder or even going as far as to let them go, this step is crucial in ensuring that the bad practices don't occur again. It's also best for employee discipline procedures to be spelled out in a handbook, to make sure workers aren't treated differently. Disparate treatment of workers, especially when it comes to discipline or demotions, can be the basis for a workplace discrimination lawsuit.
  • Revise your policies. Did the violation or actions against protocol occur because of something in your business' policies? Maybe the rules are not explicit enough. You may need to revisit your company's workplace policies or employee handbook to make some necessary changes.
  • Go public. If you've managed to catch the mistakes in time without having it reach your customers, then that would be ideal. However, if the bad practices have been going on for a while, you may need to put past and current customers on notice. Be prepared for the need to go public as a form of damage control.

These are just a few potential ways to deal with a situation similar to the Golden Corral video. If things get out of hand, or if you have lingering concerns about any legal issues that may be involved, an experienced business lawyer can sit down with you to help figure out the best way to proceed.

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