Economy

Chipotle's Huge Losses Are Getting Personal

March 14th 2016

By:
Taylor Bell

Following the controversy surrounding separate E. coli and norovirus outbreaks at a handful of Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants, the beloved fast-food chain's CEOs are taking one massive pay cut.

For the year 2015 Chipotle co-CEOs Steve Ells and Monty Moran saw their paychecks reduced by 50 percent, USA Today reports. Ells and Moran suffered compensation cuts from $29 million in 2014 to $1.39 million in 2015 after the burrito chain suffered a major health scandal, Yahoo reports.

As ATTN: previously reported, 2015 reports surfaced that at least 80 college students at Boston College contracted norovirus after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Boston. And just before that, Chipotle suffered an E. coli outbreak that reportedly made 52 people sick in nine states. In addition, a Salmonella outbreak occurred across seven Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota.

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It's been a tough time for Chipotle.

Overall, the Mexican grill's net income decreased by 44 percent and its revenue by 6.8 percent last year, according to Yahoo.

Furthermore, the company announced it would take some drastic measures internally. In an statement to their shareholders Chipotle announced that it would cancel all 2015 executive bonuses in lieu of "food borne illness" that made many of its customers and employees sick, according to Forbes.

However, this might need to be taken with a grain of salt. Chipotle's two head executives still managed to secure $13 million each thanks in large part to stock awards granted in previous years, Forbes reports.

But regardless, Chipotle still has a long way to recovery. In the latter part of 2015, the restaurant's stock lost a third of its value, according to USA Today.

In response to the health scandal, Chipotle has worked endlessly to try to repair its image. As ATTN: previously reported, earlier this year the company planned to give away free food to woo customers back to its stores. And on February 8, the fast-food chain closed more than 1,900 of its stores for a one-time nationwide meeting about food safety.

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At that meeting, founder and co-CEO Steve Ells talked about the company's renewed commitment to better meal practices.

"Chipotle is an established leader in our use of high quality ingredients – ingredients like Responsibly Raised™ meats, local and organically grown produce and pasture-raised dairy – and preparing our food using classic cooking techniques,” Steve Ells said in a press release in January. “Now, we are working to establish the company as the leader in food safety as well. Our employees will play a critical role in helping us achieve this goal and we want them to know how much we appreciate their dedication to this critical mission.”