As a fast-food connoisseur, I enjoy many different take-out eateries from Chik-fil-A, to Subway, and even McDonalds at times, but my favorite place has always been Taco-Bell. The tacos, flavorful, the nachos, deliciously messy and filling, and the hot sauce plentiful, but while living in New York the chain’s debacles has, sadly, left me gun-shy.
I had almost built up enough courage to enter the establishment after the e-coli breakout. I had a craving for a 7-Layer Burrito, and was willing to concede that it was not the fault of Taco-Bell, but the fault of its onion distributor. Then the rats were found. The guilty restaurant happens to also be the location I went to, to get my chalupa fix. Now, I will not go to the one near the lower East side, or enter any other Taco-Bell because of what I have seen.
This may significantly alter my life, and it is because of the disturbing footage I viewed on YouTube. As much as I did not want to look, I ended up watching, and it wasn’t pretty. It looked like the awful, made for T.V. movie, The Rats. You can not see food poisoning, so people would forgive and forget, but the rats are all over the internet for people in California, Texas, Ohio and any other state to see.
Taco-Bell Corporation has decided the best way to deal with this is blame the owner of the specific location with the pests, and ignore the subject. This strategy does not exactly “think outside the bun,” so-to-speak. Yes, the rats only scoured for food and inhabited only one chain in the Greenwich Village area of New York, but the impact felt because of YouTube, and other sites, will go much farther than one owner’s negligence. When people see the image of those fat, hairy, grey vermin scuffling across the floor, they probably will not think “oh, I am glad I don’t live in New York.” Instead what will trickle into their minds is “I wonder if my local Taco-Bell has that problem?”
The Corporation must deal with this on a macro level because of one micro level store. Instead of disregarding customers’ nationwide; that is the customer the company should worry most about. The Bell may have lost some people in the New York area, but they still have a chance to hold onto customers in other states with a strong marketing plan.
Of course if they can take a page from Viacom, and figure out how to get rid of the video on YouTube, it might not be necessary, but I don’t see that one happening.
As for me; at least I can still go to Chipotle.