Chipotle’s had a rough year – from its stock taking a dive into the shitter due to its widespread and rampant E. coli outbreak to having to give away millions of burritos in order to entice people back through its doors, it’s not hard to understand why people are still reluctant to eat at the once highly-popular fast casual restaurant.
I mean, let’s be honest here – have YOU eaten at Chipotle since you’ve redeemed your free burrito coupon? Because I haven’t. Not because I’m afraid of getting E. coli or because the damn place couldn’t stay clean of Norovirus for even a month, but because I just don’t feel like it anymore; it’s like I’ve gone so long without Chipotle that I don’t even care if I eat it at this point. And according to Grub Street, it looks like Chipotle’s plan to combat customer’s current empathy towards their food is…to give away even MORE free food!!!!
That’s right: giving us free food the first time didn’t make us come back for seconds, so surely doing it again will work in Chipotle’s favor. Right?
Thanks to its new rap as a public health hazard, Chipotle is about to hit a bitter milestone — its first quarterly sales loss as a public company. Mea culpas with Matt Lauer, punny ads, and the obligatoryratcheting up of safety protocols haven’t turned fortunes around, which leaves the chain basically one option to get people back in its restaurants: More free burritos.
It tried that once before, on February 8, when it closed every location nationwide for that big employee food-safety confab. About 5.3 million “raincheck” vouchers were claimed at the time, but the chain thinks maybe it didn’t go far enough. So it’s started mailing out coupons to people.
Somewhere between 6 million and 10 million of these have already been sent out, the AP reports, and Chipotle warns it’s just going to keep sending ’em out until the number reaches 21 million, one for almost every dozen Americans. They entitle the holder to a free entrée and all expire around May 15.(via)
Executives at Chipotle reportedly believe what’s killing their profits are the fact that their stores look empty, since no one wants to eat a burrito all alone in the dark after having a lengthy argument with the cashier over whether or not you should be charged extra for guac. Then again, it could also be the fact that the public still hasn’t forgotten about how the chain had to close 43 stores because of reported violent, bloody diarrhea, or how 28 Boston College students also, YOU GUESSED IT, came down with a case of violent, bloody diarrhea.
Or maybe it’s because people are like me, and just don’t really give a shit about eating at Chipotle anymore. Sure the food is fine and dandy, but I could just as easily eat somewhere else and not have to risk getting a case of savage, grisly runs (also commonly known as violent, bloody diarrhea).
Step up your game, Chipotle.
[H/T Grub Street]