Chipotle to Briefly Close All Restaurants for Safety Meeting

January 15th 2016

Alex Mierjeski

Embattled Mexican fast-casual chain Chipotle said it would shut down each one of its more than 1,900 stores nationwide for a few hours in February to hold a continental food safety meeting.

The mass staff meeting, slated for February 8, is the company's boldest, but perhaps most symbolic move in addressing the growing concern over its food safety after a string of recent contamination cases caused a flurry of public relations (and health) crises.


CNN Money reports that the meeting would provide the company the opportunity to not only thank employees, but to address changes and field questions.

Related: Chipotle Just Took yet Another Big Blow

As ATTN: has reported, the company suffered a string of bacterial outbreaks recently, with hundreds of people getting sick from E. coli- and norovirus-contaminated food that was traced back to a number of its restaurants nationwide.

Data curated by HealthGrove


The outbreaks caused significant financial damage to the company as well, with a 30 percent drop in same-store sales in December, according to a company memo.

Data curated by HealthGrove


The news of the closures was noted in a Wall Street Journal report about the company's marketing strategies, and was subsequently picked up after Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold spoke about the closures in the Oregonian newspaper.

Related: Chipotle Could Be In Bigger Trouble Than You Think

"We are still working on details," Arnold told the Washington Post. "[O]ur restaurants will be closed part of the day Feb. 8. 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. "