While Chipotle was once a favorite of consumers who loved their offerings, recent health scares at some Chipotle locations have sent some of those fans away. Now Chipotle is doing all they can to win back customers. Chipotle plans to close for lunch on February 8, reports CNN Money, in order to conduct a food safety meeting for all employees.
Will power: Not snacking on chips mid-drive. pic.twitter.com/yC7MjbrqLL
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) January 17, 2016
According to CNBC, part of that plan involves more free food giveaways at Chipotle, even if Chipotle hasn’t yet laid out a schedule as to when the free food will be given away. Monty Moran, the co-CEO of Chipotle, expressed during an investors call that the restaurant is allowing managers at individual Chipotle locations the chance to give away twice the amount of free food to customers than they were previously allowed to give away.
It will be up to each store manager to figure out how they will coordinate the Chipotle free food given away, like burritos, as reported by Yahoo!. Therefore, Chipotle fans looking for free food should pay close attention to their local eateries to determine when and how much free food will be given away.
In the meantime, the Chipotle Mexican Grill Facebook page is busy doing damage control, trying to win back the trust of customers with posts like the following. On Facebook, Chipotle posted an explanation on January 15 at 1:46 p.m. as to the reasoning behind their store closures.
“We’re having a national employee meeting on Monday, February 8 to thank everybody for their hard work through this difficult time, discuss recent food safety changes, and talk about additional steps we’re taking for the future.
“All US restaurants will be closed for lunch and will re-open at 3pm in each time zone.”
Whether or not the free food events at Chipotle will bring customers flocking back to their doors and standing in long lines in order to procure their beloved burrito bowls once more remains to be seen. Known as a place where healthy eaters could design their meals with double the chicken or double the steak, and forgo the fattening ingredients like guacamole, Chipotle became a favorite place for some to hang out for lunch or even dinner, enjoying fresh food with a Mexican flair.
The idea to give away free food is one that has always existed at Chipotle since the early days of the eatery, but it is being resurrected as a means of turning around the troubled establishment. According to Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung, the times of giving away free food at Chipotle had reduced to such a low frequency that it almost went away.
“We’ve always had it, but it just kind of drifted to such a low-grade level that it was kind of non-existent.”
An email was sent out to Chipotle restaurants, letting the eatery managers know exactly how much free food they were allowed to give away and offer rewards to customers, even if the company didn’t share that information with the press. Chipotle did admit that they will increase their marketing efforts in an attempt to also win back more customers who’ve left in the E. coli outbreak scare melee.
The Chipotle restaurant marketing push could prove successful — especially with lots of free food giveaways — and help folks forget and forgive Chipotle’s recent food scares. Chipotle experienced a dip in sales as high as 30 percent in December, 2015, after a reported E. coli outbreak hit news in October — and a norovirus made dozens of folks sick at a Chipotle in Boston.
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) January 16, 2016
Staying abreast of the Chipotle social media pages will likely prove fruitful in the free food giveaways.
[AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File]