Chipotle’s Worst Nightmare

Chipotle takes major hit to their brand reputation

After the restaurant was linked to a massive E. coli breakout in 2015,  many Chipotles in different states across the US had to closed down for business. However, that wasn’t the beginning to their failing business, sales were decreasing rapidly due to people having second thoughts on indulging on their food. Chipotle was also facing the possibility of being criminally investigated.

“food with integrity” was said to be Chipotles brand promise at the time of this E. coli break out. In the eyes of the public Chipotle takes an even great hit to the reputation because they have always claimed to use fresh locally-sourced food. While using food that is not in fact fresh and locally grown their brand promise is completely disregarded.

How can one trust Chipotle after this massive e coli breakout?

Coming from a girl who would eat Chipotle for every meal if she could, I’d say this has overall changed the way I view this company. When I think of Chipotle I think of a healthier place to grab lunch or dinner on the go rather than settling for McDonalds or Taco Bell.

I have always heard nothing but great things on an any advertisement seen about the company, especially having to do with their food products. Even by the looks of their restaurants, it is considered to be higher end on the fast-food scale. The food always looks so fresh and appitizing so to think a food borne illness had been associated with Chipotles name is disgusting.

Even after reading about how Chipotle was going to undergo extreme measures to regain the loyalty of their customers, still left me with a bad taste in my mouth.


“The company has pledged to tighten food safety procedures to prevent further such incidents.” -Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells

The largest campaign that was established during the time of regaining customer loyalty was a meeting which was held to discuss and allow employees to give there opinion on how to reassure the public that it is safe to come back. This meeting also covered the steps that employees can take to ensure this type or any other type of illness for that matter would not occur again. Chipotle had sent out a tweet letting the public know that this meeting would air live on the app called Periscope at 12pm EST.

In my opinion I believe that Chipotle should have gone to more extreme measures to ensure the public that as a company they were doing everything they could and in a timely manner to fix this problem. Also considering many got ill due to the breakout and some were hospitalized, Chipotle should have reached out to each individual the was affected and payed for their hospital bills.

I feel as if this E. coli breakout was swept under the rug. The problem was not covered enough on all social media outlets. I remember back to when this happened I barely heard any news covering this issue. The only big news that had everyones jaw dropping was the Chipotle was closed and I remember immediately googling “is chipotle closed for good?” but this issue was not made known more like trying to be covered up.