After a series of reports of food-borne illness at Chipotle restaurants in the northwest United States, the restaurant chain is taking the extreme step of closing all of its stores on February 8 to have a “conversation” with employees about food safety. The move has been compared to a hard reset: turning a device off and restarting it to clear any problems.
While this is presumably what the company’s executives want consumers to believe, will it be enough to restore the brand’s reputation as driven by consumer and planet-healthy choices?
Starbucks made a similar move in 2008 (coincidentally, also in February). Did it work to clear that brand’s flagging reputation?
Is this good crisis management, or smoke and mirrors?