Chipotle had been planning its Feb. 8 private company meeting for weeks, which also meant closing down its restaurants until 3 p.m. local time on Monday. Last week, Chipotle reported its first decline in quarterly same-store sales as a public company, hurt by a sharp drop in customer visits due to the outbreaks.
The company said more than 50,000 employees tuned in via satellite in more than 400 viewing locations, including theaters.
Since then, the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention has given the all clear and Chipotle's already working on damage control and regaining customers' trust, the largest effort so far being the decision to close its doors today.
Chipotle restaurants nationwide, including those in Newport News, Hampton and Williamsburg, were closed for lunch Monday for employee meetings to discuss food safety changes and other matters.
If you were planning on going to Chipotle during that time, the company wants to make it up to you with a free burrito for your troubles.
"That's one of the reasons why we no longer dice tomatoes in our restaurants", read a Chipotle statement on the new protocols. The meeting comes after Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. saw its sales slammed by the food scares. Just follow the steps by 6 p.m., and you get your free burrito.
In December, there was a second, smaller outbreak of E. coli tied to Chipotle restaurants. But adding an extra 2 to the number gets you to the cell phone of Henry Levine, who said he received more than a hundred texts from people demanding a free meal.
The money will be used to ensure serving fresh food while minimizing risk in its complex supply chain.