Chipotle Mexican Grill Incident

Decent Essays

Chipotle Mexican Grill Incorporated has always had a great reputation for being an inexpensive, high quality, fast-food chain. That reputation suddenly diminished when the company had to close 43 restaurants in Oregon and Washington State towards the end of 2015. An E.coli outbreak had emerged at six restaurants in that region, and soon afterwards the same was reported in seven other states. Health officials cited a particular restaurant at Boston College for improper handling of poultry and the presence of a sick employee after 80 students had become ill after eating there. The cause was a common virus, norovirus. After instances of contaminated food, Chipotle was being thoroughly questioned about their pledge for serving “food with integrity.” …show more content…

The unit volumes were $2.5 million before the infestation, and they shrunk to $1.8 million. Average volumes are not expected to increase until 2020. (Little). Surprisingly, new stores are performing the worst. The brand’s reputation took a hit and people still think about the viral and bacteria crises when they hear the name “Chipotle.” The company alone has even brought down the percentage of restaurant same-store sales. The stock itself had decreased by 42 percentage points a year later and the company’s recovery has been at a much slower rate than other companies due to their original pledges about their food which led to many questions. (Little). The company is continuing to rise back up slowly, but their communication skills certainly have not helped the process. If they took a different approach and communicated their plans to the public more efficiently, the current numbers may not have been so low and they maybe have earned trust back from more of the clientele. Most recently on April 11th, 2019, in efforts to raise its profits, Chipotle had raised its prices in 440 restaurants, which is 20 percent of the total of 2,200 locations. (Patton). This was the first time it has done so since the crisis. Those restaurants bumped up prices by five percent. (Patton). Chipotle spokesman, Chris Arnold, claimed the reason for increasing prices was because of food inflation and due to the quality of products they use. That move especially does not help Chipotle in winning back their customers.

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