Using Social Media to Comment on Bad Press

Imagine, you wake up tomorrow morning and see that a national newspaper has written an article claiming your brand is unhealthy. Your brand is a restaurant, how would you respond?

This recently happened to a Toronto gem, Salad King. The Star ran a nutrition column on one of the restaurant’s  most popular items, the Pad Thai (Phud Thai) with Chicken. The article points out numerous unhealthy statistics, high sodium, high calories and a very large portion size (Salad King’s Phud Thai is over a pound and a half of food).

The Salad King's Chicken Pad Thai
The Salad King’s Chicken Pad Thai

The article was shared on multiple social media platforms and the brand community was quickly being informed of how unhealthy their favourite meal was. Salad King could have stayed silent about this. The brand was not likely to lose their loyal fans over this. Most people know fast food, especially a pound and a half of fast food, is not a well balanced meal. 

The Salad King's Facebook page
The Salad King’s Facebook page

However, Salad King decided to speak up about their dish and they did it using social media. The day after the article was published the restaurant posted a response to their Facebook page that included the recipe for their traditional Pad Thai. Sharing the article that calls out your restaurant as unhealthy is a big risk. So, why was this the right thing to do?

  1. The brand spoke directly to their community
  2. Salad King is acknowledging the article, not hiding it.
  3. This kind of open access to information is what social media was made for
  4. They look humble, not defensive
  5. Salad King demonstrates a great social voice, encouraging fans in the comments to talk about the high sodium, and openly explaining why ingredients cannot be switched

What do you think of Salad King’s response? Should they have ignored The Star? Was it wise to share their recipe? Do you have a craving for Pad Thai right now? 




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