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Crisis That Kept on Cooking

by Jan Schroder
Outside Sambo's Restaurant.

Last week, I trained a client’s team on crisis management.

It sparked memories of the first crisis I not only witnessed, but certainly exacerbated as a rookie newspaper reporter covering a restaurant’s disastrous opening. I instantly liked the amiable first-time general manager who’d moved his family to the Mississippi riverside town with few dining choices to serve up tasty pancakes, burgers and salads.

The stories I wrote – about labor complaints, food poisoning and a kitchen fire – began with the largely African-American community’s backlash against the franchise’s unfortunate name – Sambo’s. It was the 1,117th franchise. Today, there’s one.

Chris Schroder, SPR Atlanta

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