It’s been a rough few months for Mexican restaurant Chipotle. The popular chain’s image was significantly damaged after more than 500 people in 13 different states got sick after eating Chipotle food. But now, the company claims things are back to normal and to prove it, it’s giving away burritos to anybody who wants one.
That was the main takeaway today following Chipotle’s nationwide closure for an all-company meeting. The chain’s more than 2,000 locations all shut their doors for a few hours today to give a pep talk to employees and to go over the new food safety procedures.
The company announced that due to the closure, America’s next burrito is on the house.
Customers can text the word “raincheck” to 888-222 and the company will send you a SMS coupon for a free burrito within the next few days. (We should note that many are reporting on social media that it does seem to be taking a while to get the coupon, so don’t panic if you don’t hear back right away after sending the text.)
Chipotle badly needs this freebie deal to pay off. Same-store sales are down all over the country and the company’s stock is currently about 40 percent lower than its record high last year, according to Wired. There’s also a criminal investigation into its handling of the health scare, according to NPR. It should probably be noted that while the source of the health scare was determined to be from e.coli and salmonella bacteria, Chipotle never did locate the exact food item that was causing the issue.
But for what it’s worth, the company also announced today that it plans to commit $10 million to help local farmers that supply ingredients to Chipotle. Some farms had expressed fear that they wouldn’t be able to meet Chipotle’s strict new food safety standards, so the company is moving to get everyone up to speed.
What do you think about Chipotle’s generous offer? Will you be jumping at the chance for a free burrito or are you still feeling queasy about the prospect of getting a mouthful of bacteria? Let us know in the comments.