It appears that the time has come for action, and all Chipotle stores will be closed for several hours on February 8th, due to a national team meeting to discuss their recent problems. And most would know that they have certainly been plenty.
The last six months have neared a nightmare for Chipotle, with more than hundreds of complaints tossed their way. Ranging from E. coli to norovirus and salmonella, the Mexican grill food chain has seen a tremendous drop in popularity. And, in turn, resulted in a drop in stock by a whopping 42%, from the peak $750 to $428 per share. Now, the restaurant chain will arrange a meeting to discuss how to progress into the future.
On February 8th, 2016, the nearly 2,000 Chipotle restaurants in the United States will be closed for several hours. While their usual lunch time starts between 10 to 11 A.M., their doors will only open after 3 P.M.. This is due to the national team meeting to thank all their employees for their hard work and support during such difficult times.
Furthermore, the gathering will hold the purpose of discussing new food safety issues, regulations, and methods of cooking the food in order to avoid future problems. This will be in addition to answering questions from employees, according to Chris Arnold, a Chipotle spokesman.
The company has seen to over 500 people reporting illnesses after eating at one of their many locations. The crisis started in July, 2015, when five Chipotle customers were diagnosed with E. coli after eating at a restaurant in Seattle. And from there, the hits just kept on coming.
In August, 234 people reportedly fell ill after eating at the Mexican grill restaurant in Simi Valley, California, with what is believed to be norovirus. In September, another 64 people were diagnosed with salmonella from bad tomatoes at a Chipotle in Minnesota. Around nine of them required hospitalization. One month later, in October, another 53 people were reportedly ill after eating at Chipotle restaurants across nine states.
And most recently, in December, 140 people were diagnosed with norovirus after consuming food form a Chipotle in Boston. The situation seems to be getting worse and worse for the formerly popular chain. According to Bill Marler, an attorney who represents around 75 people affected by Chipotle, there has never been a chain of restaurants that reported so many disease outbreaks in just six months.
It has caused more than several headaches for the company, which has been slammed with a subpoena by a federal judge to hand over all their documents. Chipotle has stated that they are cooperating with the investigation, but the situation looks grim. Company founders may see to a felony charge. If it’s found they could have at least prevented the outbreak or can be held responsible, they will still be charged with misdemeanor.
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