How Burger King and Facebook are Supporting Workers

June 17, 2020

By Dominick Fils-Aimé


Marketing Maestros is providing weekly coverage of how various brands are responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak and relevant resources from the ANA's Marketing Knowledge Center to help your brand do the same.

At a time when people are feeling vulnerable, brands are shifting their marketing communication in ways to better support customers. Maintaining an empathetic brand voice in communications is critical in creating emotional connections with consumers during these challenging times. But brand empathy shouldn’t be reserved for consumers, it should also be extended to staff. A number of businesses are taking unique approaches to support and demonstrate gratitude for their essential workers.

Burger King has been encouraging its customers to use its app to make orders. By using the app, people are better protected from contracting the coronavirus, with staff serving customers with minimal contact. A core feature of the app is a message submission system that enables customers to communicate with the very employees preparing their meals, facilitating a more seamless eating experience. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of customers used this opportunity, not to ask for extra ketchup, but to express their appreciation for staff showing up to work every day.

Between May 7 and May 10, Burger King took more than 5,000 of these “thank you” messages and displayed them across in-store digital kiosks and menu boards for employees to see. The weeklong initiative helped foster loyalty and appreciation among staff.

The company is also distributing bonuses to all corporate restaurant team members, and is offering employees up to 14 days of paid sick leave for those forced into self-quarantine after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Its donation of meals to the Nurses Foundation, coupled with its offer of free meals for kids, only raises its esteem, with people looking to support companies that support employees and communities in times of crisis.

Marketing Resources


How Facebook is Supporting Staff and Community

Many businesses overlook the value employees have as brand ambassadors. How employers treat their staff can have a significant impact on brand sentiment. Abandoning employees during these difficult times can severely damage a brand’s reputation. Conversely, serving as a support system for employees in times of crisis can increase brand affinity.

Facebook, a company renowned for its workplace perks and employee benefits, is helping its employees navigate through the many difficulties prompted by a prolonged lockdown. The social media conglomerate is offering four weeks of emergency leave for parents in response to school closings, and childcare centers shutting down. An additional six weeks of emergency care leave was made available for employees who need to take time off of work to take care of family dealing with the coronavirus, or medical issues.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has also allowed contractors to work remotely, and have committed to paying hourly support staff their regular wages regardless of hours worked. Moreover, all 45,000 of Facebooks employees will automatically receive a $1,000 bonus, and an “exceeds expectations” grade on their six-month performance reviews, qualifying them for additional bonus pay.

Furthermore, Facebook has donated nearly $20 million dollars to support COVID-19 relief efforts, and an additional $25 million to support health care workers. Furthermore, it is helping small businesses stay afloat by pledging $40 million to provide grants for 10,000 business across the United States. With marketers reducing ad spend, and consumers reducing spending, marketing good will is one of the more effective ways to engage consumers.

Marketing Resources

  • How to Manage Brand Reputation: Marketers and industry experts explain how to manage brand reputation to gain or maintain a competitive advantage.
  • The Power of Purpose In A Post-Digital Age: This Insight Brief provides marketers with resources for building a genuine brand purpose and shares best practices from brands that have successful merged purpose and mission into one.

See what you may have missed from previous weeks:

How is your brand adapting to the pandemic? Share in the comments.

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