Earlier this year various Chipotle locations were closed nationwide due to multiple outbreaks of E.coli and the norovirus. But to regain its revenue, the restaurant gifted patrons with coupons for free burritos, which surpassed 3 million in redeemed coupons.
With a retrospective look on Chipotle’s recent ordeal, co-chief executive officer, Steve Ells, says the restaurant’s usage of freshly-grown ingredients made them vulnerable to the health crisis.
“We have many more fresh ingredients in the typical fast-food restaurants. And so, there are potentially a lot of sources for such an incident,” Ells said. “We have been looking with the CDC, with our epidemiologist, with food safety experts, with local health departments and nobody initially could identify what the source was. We think we have a pretty good idea, but not definitively are we going to say what it was.”
Ells later continued to state that with a microscopic lens placed on every inch of their food now, the intense quality check has actually improved its taste. “Every single ingredient now that we bring in has been scrutinized, every single cooking technique has been scrutinized and we’ve made a number of changes and a lot of these changes also have been for the better, I mean the food actually tastes better.”