Public relations during a time of unexpected change

As many have noticed the fast food market has been suffering in terms of how the public sees them. With the questions about the true quality of the food, the health consequences of eating there, and even the quality of the work environment for the employees, sales for most fast food places are on a downward trend. I don’t think that if you had asked most people even just a few years ago, that a majority of them would have thought such a growing negative view of such common food places would be on the rise.

Many of these companies are trying all sorts of ideas to try and bring in more revenue. From new menu items, to resurrecting old commercial campaigns, each company has either discovered that their efforts are proving fruitful or having even more negative effects. The most recent and interesting “re-branding” effort has been from Taco Bell. In certain locations Taco Bell will start serving a variety of alcoholic drinks. This is being piloted to see if the combination of lower prices and the availability of alcohol will bring more of those who are primarily restaurant goers back to Taco Bell.

This is actually not a bad idea to try. Only time will tell if there is any backlash from this decision, but with more and more people noticing that fast food prices are slowly increasing to the point of almost being equal to restaurants, it makes sense to start giving them access to what they normally would have at an actual restaurant.

Also to be considered is the usually lucrative side of selling alcohol. If done right and people come in and buy alcohol, Taco Bell could easily see a boost in sales simply from the drink aspect of their business alone. This could lead to a stabilization in food prices and other such benefits. Of course Taco Bell isn’t a bar however, so how much alcohol that is actually sold has yet to be determined. It still seems like a very a worthy public relations program to test regardless. In public relations it would not be wise to ever assume that you are above the need to maintain your image. Always be ready and willing to do what is needed to keep those you serve happy, even if it means reinventing yourself.

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