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Trouble at Twin Peaks: Takeaways from the Chaos


I previously wrote about the collective shock over the shootout at the Twin Peaks sports bar in Waco, Texas. Turning my fascination into action, I’ve since interviewed several crisis managers, franchisor lawyers and the Twin Peaks CEO and its own crisis manager to discuss what franchisors should do to prepare for the unexpected.

Several of my all-star sources have suggested that it’s in the nature of many entrepreneurs to both hope for the best and to handle things on their own — not just out of frugality, but because that’s part of the formula that brought them success.

Hearing from those in the eye of the Twin Peaks storm, that is a very bad idea. In putting together this story, I hope to spur our readers into making their own arrangements to prevent being caught flat footed.

Communication is one of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle in times of trial, and your business needs to have a plan that covers everyone from the C-suite down to managers at the store level, with it being understood that everyone answers their phone no matter what day or time of day.

Putting the basics down on paper, including a rough plan for handling a sudden barrage of media requests, can avoid critical mistakes that could be dragged into any potential litigation or damage the brand.

Disasters take many forms, from tornadoes to food borne illnesses, and as Twin Peaks CEO Randy Dewitt said, restaurants attract so many people that it’s inevitable that something unexpected will happen — the whole when, not if thing.

“If you don’t have a plan, do it today,” Dewitt said. He added that rather than wasting precious time Googling “Restaurant crisis management,” being able to pull the trigger on a previously outlined, basic plan will benefit the company, its brand, customers, employees and franchisees.

Does your company have a crisis plan? If not, might I suggest today as a fine time to get started.

Stay tuned for a full feature on the subject in an upcoming issue of Franchise Times. 

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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