Sad news came to SanTan Brewery and their employees as the owner, Anthony Canecchia, was arrested for assault and domestic violence charges in an incident that happened Thursday evening (Read Source - from 3TV, Jennifer Thomas on azfamily.com).
Established in 2007 and recently recognized as the "Fastest Growing Brewery in Arizona", SanTan Brewery is a local restaurant and a successful micropub based in Chandler, Arizona. Earlier this year SanTan announced a $6M investment for expanding their warehouse and production center to 35,000 feet.
As a past member of the beer community in Arizona, I heard the politics and challenges it takes to sell and distribute beer in establishments. The hard work, networking and relationships that SanTan Brewery employees had developed could potentially be diminished by the foolish and outrageous acts the company owner did last Thursday.
My above opinion is based what is to come and variables such the popularity of the press coverage that Anthony was arrested, the reaction investors will and/or have made, the overall response and actions by beer communities and the general public. SanTan Brewery has likely not exposed that their owner is currently under arrest as it is likely on a need-to-know basis right now. My response to SanTan as a Company is do the following:
My best guess or least what I would do if I was involved as a SanTan employee is handle the current online negative press coverage and social media threads on a one-to-one case. SanTan is likely responding only if conversations spirals out of control at the company (in general) but not responding to feedback of the owner as an individual.React! Don't be afraid, respond appropriately and carefully but don't respond late.
Hopefully the owner is regretting the actions he's taken and is willing to apologize in a respectful and public manner to the customers and clients he has. Hopefully this is not something an employee of SanTan should have to do on his behalf.
Another action would be to have a staff meeting as soon as possible, let the employees be aware of the situation and notify them of the realistic feedback they may receive from their customer base. Advocate to your employees a politically correct response to possible conversations that they may have with customers, and make sure they know who should respond to the press (if and when the press comes).
This all seems like "business reputation 101" steps and I expect every business owner knows of these steps. Although what is the likelihood that a business owner not passing these basic principles to their management team? This is a lesson to note the importance of spreading knowledge.
I personally request that the public takes knowledgeable and realistic viewpoints on SanTan Brewery (as a company). I believe SanTan Brewery will actively react to the response to come from the beer community and general public. I personally hope that Anthony (the owner) has a son or daughter and he can promote the business to that family member or friend relatively quickly. I hope he regrets his actions and speaks publicly about his apology. I hope that the proper actions are taken by the SanTan Brewery staff so that the company can survive the recent acquisition of the new building and remodeling of the restaurant in case demand of their product decreases significantly.