In the beginning, Chipotle took the fast-food industry and concept by storm. Founder and former CEO Steve Ells committed all of his time and effort into ensuring that Chipotle is a wholesome, and environmentally-friendly brand with the mission statement being: â€œFood with integrity is our commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.â€ During their long and tumultuous 23-year journey, the brand has neglected important aspects in relation to their transparency.
After a history of public health scares following contamination in restaurants, Chipotle finally spilled the beans about their true internal transparency regarding the Sterling, Virginia norovirus outbreak.Â This Â was the first time Chipotle admittedÂ to an employee being the root of the cause, whereas in past instances the company steered clear of giving a direct answer on the root of the contamination. Despite their efforts to maintain transparency externally, a lack of communication as well as protocol enforcement internally have produced some issues. We can see Ellsâ€™ efforts to maintain a positive public image by quoting their protocols as â€œexcellentâ€ and â€œdesigned by leading experts,â€ but only if employees follow them. In a nationwide restaurant closure, Steve Ells conducted an employee food safety meeting providing employees an opportunity to ask questions and establish stronger internal bonds. One important message delivered: Employeeâ€™s should not be scared to call into work if they are showing any forms of illness.
At the end of the day, Chipotle is still a brand we all know and love. But with the recent string of events, can we really trust the food inside the foil? Are we really being served â€œfood with integrity,â€ or grub with a side of food poisoning? We hope for Chipotleâ€™s continued success as they continue down this long path of recovery, because who doesnâ€™t love a good burrito?