Chipotle, your fast-casual dining restaurant where you can get your favorite burrito or bowl is shutting down all of its stores nationwide in February 2016.
Yes, you read that correctly, ALL of the stores will be closed for a few hours next month to hold a national staff meeting about food safety. The company’s more than 1,900 restaurants will take part in this meeting on February 8th.
Chipotle (CMG) has suffered from several outbreaks of E. coli, Salmonella and norovirus that infected customers and led to an unrelenting stream of criticism and mockery on social media.
“We are hosting a national team meeting to thank our employees for their hard work through this difficult time, discuss some of the food safety changes we are implementing, and answer questions from employees,” Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold said.
Customers have posted photos of Chipotle meals and joked about getting infected with E. coli or norovirus.
Before the outbreaks, Chipotle cultivated a loyal following with its adoption of non-GMO foods and other health conscious initiatives.
In short, there were a ton of people who loved Chipotle and who went there religiously.
And investors loved the stock. At the height of its popularity, Chipotle’s stock was at a high of about $750. It has since plummeted to as low as $428 a share — a 42% drop.
The trouble began in August when 64 customers in Minnesota were infected with Salmonella and about 100 people were struck by norovirus in southern California.
These infections were followed by an E. coli outbreak in October and November that affected 53 people in nine states.
In December, Chipotle suffered from two more outbreaks. Roughly 140 students at Boston college were infected with norovirus and a second new incidence of E. coli broke out affecting five people in three states.
The trouble didn’t end with the outbreaks however. Customers have sued Chipotle and the company was…