Chipotle is in hot water.
If you’ve been in your own bubble for the past couple months let me get you up to speed. 53 people, mostly located in Washington state, have been infected with e coli thanks to Chipotle. The outbreak has forecasted sales to go down 8%-11%. Not to mention that their once golden reputation has been tarnished
Chipotle will definitely pay the price both monetarily and relationships wise. People just don’t trust them anymore.
How can the popular chain bounce back?
It’s not impossible, many restaurants (Taco Bell) have bounced back from a food born illness breakout. The key, for Chipotle, is to not worry about sales at this point. They need to build up their brand equity with its customers.
They’ve already gotten a jump on that aspect. The CEO has written a letter to the public and has sworn that they are looking into safer food practices. That’s a great place to start but work still needs to be done. If Chipotle wants to get the people back on their side the goal must be to rebuild trust in a visual sense. We need to see, with our own eyes, the measures Chipotle has gone to make their food safer. Personally, I would take a camera to the stores where the outbreaks have been documented and show those markets the steps taken. Those people are more fearful than those of us in states where the outbreak hasn’t reached. I would also visit other locations to make sure that food was being handled properly.
It may take some time and a lot of traveling but in the big picture it’s worth it. Gaining the public’s trust should be the company’s primary goal. Once the trust has been established the sales will follow.
Chipotle will bounce back from this. Their following is too big and there isn’t a real threat out there to take the top spot. Once they get the outbreak situation under control the media will stop reporting about it. After that it’ll go to the back burner and restaurants will start overflowing again.
I know my weekly Chipotle Friday event is gearing up to come back from its hiatus.
As always, thanks for reading.