On February 8, all Chipotle restaurants will be closed for a few hours. According to Chipotle’s spokesman, Chris Arnold, the closing of the restaurants has to do with a team meeting in which changes will be discussed and employers’ questions will be answered. He also said that the employees will be thanked for the hard work they did during those difficult times.
Chipotle has approximately 2,000 restaurants in North America, and they will be opened at 3 p.m. instead of 10 a.m. on February 8. The food safety will be the main subject at the meeting, as well as the changes that will occur.
The last six months have been very difficult for Chipotle, with more than 500 people being ill after eating at one of the Chipotle restaurants. The first time illness has been reported as a cause of Chipotle’s food was in Seattle. After investigations have been done by the health officials, they declared that E. coli was behind it. After that, only one month later 234 people reportedly have been infected with the norovirus at the Chipotle restaurant situated in Simi Valley, California.
In September, 64 people were affected by salmonella, which came from bad tomatoes. In October 53 people fell ill after eating at Chipotle and in December 140 people from Boston were infected with the norovirus. According to Chipotle, the latest norovirus infection was caused by some sick employees.
According to Bill Marley, a Seattle based lawyer specialized in illnesses caused by food, no other food manufacturer or chain restaurant has had so many outbreaks in such a short time. Until now, nine lawsuits have been filed against Chipotle by the infected clients, of which some were filed by Bill Marley. According to Marley, not all the lawsuits against Chipotle have been filed yet, as he claims to represent 75 Chipotle customers.
These outbreaks are estimated that will cost the chain of restaurants between $14 million and $16 million. Chipotle’s stock has also decreased with 42%, going from $750 per share to only$428 per share.
Arnold also said that the safety practices for food were reviewed and that they hope to reestablish Chipotle’s position on the market. The CEO of Chipotle, Steve Ells also said that the restaurants are now very safe. On February 8, all Chipotle restaurants will be closed for a few hours so keep in mind that they are working hard to regain your trust and you as their client.
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