Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the largest fast food Mexican chains in the United States, serving a variety of easy-to-make items like burritos and quesadillas. In the past few years, Chipotle has come under significant attack as a result of an E. coli outbreak which stemmed from one of the thousands of franchises located in the United States.

More recently, In July of 2018, the chain came under fire once again as hundreds of people reported food poisoning from one Chipotle Mexican Grill. According to the NPR, a franchise in Powell, Ohio caused almost 650 people to become ill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a bacterium found in poultry, beef and dried foods prepared in substantial quantities, was the cause of the outbreak. Despite the outbreak, Chipotle vowed to make it right for its customers and retrain their employees.

In a statement from Chipotle, CEO Brian Niccol told USA Today, “Once we identified this incident, we acted quickly to close the Powell restaurant and implemented our food safety response protocols that include total replacement of all food inventory and complete cleaning and sanitization of the restaurant.”

In 2016, when the E. Coli, Salmonella, and norovirus broke out at Chipotle in 2016, the company closed restaurants across the nation to retrain employees. However, was a half-day of training really enough? The question comes into play even more as the restaurant industry experiences a significantly high turnover compared to other industries.

Josh Ostrega, COO, and co-founder of Workjam, told HR Dive a bit about training techniques that have been successful and what Chipotle can do to help ensure this thing doesn’t happen again. He says training should be consistent, continuous and always be improving with training material accessible and easy to follow. The training should leverage technology, but tools should be used to track sessions have been conducted and who leads them. Finally, those trained and their managers need to be held accountable regarding training and proper procedures.

Leave a Reply