Jim O’Connor, President and Owner of Le Petit Gourmet, received a shocking phone call while vacation in California, which informed him that his business is going to shut down indefinitely due to the outbreaks of hepatitis A in his catering facility.
Le Petit Gourmet was a family catering business that had been operating in the Denver metro area for more than 30 years. Le Petit employed between 150 and 200 people, 75 of whom were full time. Along with Le Petit was perceived as the most expensive and upscale caterer in Denver, O’Connor also want his business to be known for good food on all levels, from cookies to lobsters. Le petit Gourmet’s business had been on the upswing in recent years.
On November 22, Health Department notified O’Connor that his kitchen manager infected by hepatitis A, and by Nov 30, the doctor confirm the case. Due to the further outbreak on Dec 30, Le Petit Gourmet is being shut down completely, and the health departments have ordered food-service workers in metro Denver area to using gloves or utensils when handling food in prevention to hepatitis A. In addition, Le Petit Gourmet employees were forbidden to work as food-handlers anywhere else until January 31.
When he returned from San Francisco, Jim O’Connor found that his business and family were under siege. The media, his insurance agents, lawyers, and health department inspectors, Le Petit employees and customers were waiting for his explanation on how he going to handle the hepatitis outbreaks.
Initially, he hired a public relations firm to assist him, but decided that he needed to take a more active role to save his business. First of all, he personally called the victims of hepatitis and apologized for what had happened. He also meets with his employees to calm their fears. Afterward, he make sure that his company will have enough cash flow on hands to handle this crisis by delaying payment to his vendors and negotiated a larger mortgage, because he realized...