#1 – PERCEPTION = REALITY
Of course, it’s totally possible that there happened to be two disabled drivers, both in “Mantis Green” McLarens out that night…
#2 – NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PEOPLE YOU HIRE
When a patron asked about the situation, here is the response she got from the restaurant manager…
We apologize for any confusion. At [COMPANY REMOVED], we employ a valet company to park all of our guests’ cars complimentary. Valets park every car for every shift including those guests requiring a handicapped spot. There is no option for self parking, due to our limited parking spaces in the [LOCATION REMOVED]. At no point would we ever deny anyone requesting to park in those spaces the ability to do so. Everyone who dines with us has the courtesy of accessible entry to our restaurant. [PHOTOGRAPHER REMOVED], we apologize directly to you for any confusion that occurred and would like to speak with you further about this matter. Please contact the restaurant at [EMAIL REMOVED] or directly at [PHONE REMOVED] so that we may have more details. We have spoken with our valet company about this incident to ensure that an error such as this never happens again.
You can’t watch the people you hire all the time, but if you’re missing two six-figure cars, both painted florescent green, in violation of a federal law, you’re not doing your job very well.
One guy took this photo. It ended up all over Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. It was attached to a negative review on Yelp.
But before that, who knows how many people drove by and saw this situation…
Assume this was an honest mistake and the valet company had a good reason for parking cars here. Most people will never get that part of the story — they’ll see the photo, think “these guys are assholes,” and never do business with this company again.
Don’t Let This Happen To You
Learn from this situation. Don’t let small things become big problems, especially at the hands of outsourced workers.
And get some media training on how to handle situations like this when they do blow up. You can’t just wash your hands of similar problems by saying you’ve “spoken” to the person who did something wrong and making promises that it won’t happen again.
When you screw up, people want to know specifics on how the situation will be remedied. Exactly how are you going to make things right? Exactly what procedures are you going to put in place to make sure something similar never happens again?