Saturday, January 16, 2016

My thoughts on the recent Chipotle decision to close its stores for #foodsafety retraining.

Restaurants should be more proactive rather than being reactive to #foodsafety concerns. Waiting until the health department cites a violation or after someone is in the hospital (or worse, dead) from a food borne illness is too late to properly address the situation.

I applaud #Chipotle for this step, but as several of my friends have mentioned, it may be a little bit too late for some people to fully trust the company. As a reminder, Jack-In-The-Box is STILL recovering from the #ecoli outbreak from 1993, and those of us that lived through that situation (It was one of the first cases I studied, as it was happening, when I first started college back in the early 90's), use that experience to try and show how it is possible to rebuild your brand even after 4 children died and over 700 people were infected (about 128 people were permanently injured).

Dr. Bill Werner and I wrote an article back in 2010 titled "Content analysis of consumer confidence in food service in relation to food safety laws, publicity, and sales." Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 19(1), 72 - 81.

In that article, we discussed what it takes for a business to bounce back from negative publicity, such as something like this. Suffice to say, Chipotle has it's work cut out for themselves in trying to repair their image.

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