Can Chipotle Get a Do Over?

Chipotle will close all of its restaurants February 8, 2015 for a "reset."

Chipotle will close all of its restaurants February 8, 2015 for a “reset.”

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?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/01/15/chipotle_closing_all_restaurants_in_feb_after_health_crisis.html

Starbucks made a similar move in 2008 (coincidentally, also in February). Did it work to clear that brand’s flagging reputation?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/business/27sbux.html

Is this good crisis management, or smoke and mirrors?

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3 thoughts on “Can Chipotle Get a Do Over?

  1. AmyOriental

    I think it is pretty effective for saving brand name at certain degree. In general, most of the restaurants cannot sacrifice one day ‘s sale for overall cleaning and internal reorganization. On the other hand, does one day being fully utilized into food safety or just slack off as a whitewash of public relation strategy? Food safety might not merely comes from the staff training or processes of making dishes and serving customers, but also the proper cookers and kitchen equipment usage and food resource, i. e. the overall logistics channels or evaluate current relationships and operations within food storage, delivery and growth.

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  2. lucianolublog

    I think the move of closing all restaurants to have a talk about this matter was a good initial strategy. For the most part, right now what Chipotle has to do is restore confidence in their consumers. They need to tackle every strategy that will help with doing that, and closing all their stores shows that they are willing to do everything in order to regain confidence. They can definitely restore this confidence and become great again but it’ll take a lot of work from the management team to prove that. Now people need to see that they will continue to take necessary steps in order to rebuild the brand, and slowly with time, people will regain their trust. Chipotle is able to recover, but it all depends on how they take things from here.

    Reply
  3. Zac Kuepfer

    I believe Chipotle will get another chance as they were very open about the situation and they took responsibility. In addition, it was clear that Chipotle took the proper measures to deal with the situation. The brand has always been open and about fresh healthy food, thus it should be able to go back to that soon. Consumers will likely forgive the brand as time moves on.

    Reply

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