Talker: Food lickers, other gross fast food moments go viral - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Talker: Food lickers, other gross fast food moments go viral

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A bunch of fast food workers have been making themselves look like fast fools lately. Think it'll scare customers away?

The latest example is from a Wendy's restaurant, where an employee seems to be saving himself the trouble of using a cup for his frosty. It's unclear where this happened, or who the individual is, but we know he doesn't work at Wendy's anymore. The photo was posted, this week, on the social media site Reddit.

A branding consultant told USA Today that fast-food companies are prone to this kind of problem. She said it's because so many of their workers are young, are getting paid minimum wage, and are attached to their smart phones.

Each and every case is amplified by social media.

A Taco Bell worker in California posted a photo on Facebook of a co-worker licking a taco. Taco Bell said he would be fired and the person who took the picture no longer works there either. The shells, they say, were thrown out before any was sold, but the image itself could squash appetites.

A similar image problem hit a Tennessee KFC in February after a shot of someone liking a tray of mashed potatoes was posted online. KFC says it was taken after closing-time and no customer was served the potatoes. The worker was served a pink slip.

At a Domino's Pizza in North Carolina, a guy and his female co-worker were charged with a felony for his grossness. Video posted on YouTube showed them doing all sorts of disgusting stuff to food. Dominos said the food was never served. The company pushed for criminal charges and won. Each defendant made a plea deal with prosecutors.

And Timothy Tackett was a pioneer of the genre. Way back in 2008, his girlfriend videotaped him taking a bath in an industrial sink at Burger King in Ohio. Tackett said he thought only 20 to 60 people would see it.

The branding expert says the best thing restaurants can do to prevent this kind of thing is to make workers feel valuable and committed to the company.

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