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Twin Peaks revokes Waco zee’s franchise after shootout


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If Waco was a person rather than a city, nobody would be able to say they “didn’t see it coming” after the news of a motorcycle gang shootout at the Twin Peaks sports bar over the weekend. While I’m sure Wacoans are nice folks, most know this city of 130K for its Branch Davidian notoriety.

Hearing the news about the massacre at Twin Peaks (Hooters-like bro bar), which left nine bikers dead from rival gangs, I was shocked for a few reasons: first, that biker gangs are still a serious thing, secondly, that Waco is officially a damaged brand, and third, that Twin Peaks is a franchise restaurant—yikes.

That’s a sticky situation for the Dallas-based franchisor—especially since that zee reportedly ignored law enforcement warnings leading up to the gunfight. Now today comes news that Twin Peaks revoked the franchise license for that location after the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission had already closed that location for a week.

While this breed of restaurant sure isn’t a dog-walking franchise, it’s a horrifying incident that undoubtedly has traumatized this establishment's poor employees as well as the fine people at its corporate HQ. And it’s always fascinating to see how a company handles such an unexpected situation.

Here’s the company’s official response:

We are in the people business and the safety of the employees and guests in our restaurants is priority one. Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants. We will not tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and are immediately revoking their franchise agreement. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured.

I’m not sure these involved biker gang members wouldn’t qualify as guests, but it’s a decent, strongly-worded response that was timely enough to avoid being lost in the shuffle for the next massacre to catch our nation’s mosquito-like attention span. Kudos to the company for acting quickly.

Crisis management is something worth talking about, from single-unit restaurant owners all the way up to the big companies. You never know what form a disaster will take, whether it’s an errant firework falling from the sky or an impromptu gang shooting.

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

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@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.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@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
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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