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This move would impact workers, some being offered relocation and retention packages. On December 18, , the company revealed that it had opened its first fast-food pizza chain in Denver back in May According to Associated Press , Chipotle partnered with a local full-service restaurant called Pizzeria Locale to create a fast-food version of the eatery, keeping its name.
The company plans to open at least two more pizzerias in the Denver area. In April , Chipotle announced an increase in menu prices for the first time in nearly three years, due to increasing costs for steak, avocados, and cheese. The price increase was expected to be rolled out from the end of second quarter of through the end of the third quarter.
On July 29, , the company announced the opening of its first Tasty Made burger restaurant in the fall. Chipotle was still dealing with the various virus outbreaks with additional marketing. The company was also reducing the number of new stores for the year from to The newer restaurant concepts did not perform as well as expected so that ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen and Tasty Made were respectively closed in March  and February  leaving only Pizzeria Locale operating besides the parent company.
According to an article in The Motley Fool , Chipotle had 17 locations outside of the United States by October with the majority in Canada, and the UK was in the process of opening more locations. The first Canadian location outside of the Toronto area was opened in Vancouver in December The first location in the nation's capital of Ottawa was opened in February at the Rideau Centre.
Chipotle expanded to Europe with the first European restaurant opening in May in London. The first location in France opened in Paris in May Expansion in France was much slower than that in the United Kingdom or Canada, with a second location in Paris opening in  and a third location in The first and only location in Germany opened up in Frankfurt in August Chipotle's team includes a residing corporate office of managers and its board of directors.
Members of both teams are appointed to serve on committees: Founder Steve Ells serves as chairman of the company, and served as Chief executive officer until November All of Chipotle's restaurants are company-owned, rather than franchised. The field team are the employees who work closely with but not directly within specific restaurants.
The field support system includes apprentice team leaders step up from restaurateurs , team leaders or area managers, team directors and regional directors not atypical for them to oversee more than fifty locations. Thus, whenever Chipotle is in the process of launching a new location, the field team hires a new general manager and trains them at a current location so that they will be ready for the new location when it opens for business.
The corporate office takes care of finding and funding new locations as well. Chipotle's menu consists of four items: The price of each item is based on the choice of chicken, pork carnitas , barbacoa , steak, tofu-based "sofritas",   or vegetarian with guacamole, which would be at an extra charge otherwise.
Additional optional toppings are offered free of charge, including: The majority of food is prepared in each restaurant. Some exceptions are the beans and carnitas, which are prepared at a central kitchen in Chicago, Illinois. The chain experimented with breakfast foods at two airports in the Washington D. In June , Chipotle began test marketing a pork and chicken chorizo -type sausage as a new protein option at selected locations in the Kansas City area.
Chipotle accepts fax orders, and in the company added the ability to order online from their website. For both online and fax orders, customers proceed to the front of the line to pay for pre-ordered food. In , a Center for Science in the Public Interest report stated that Chipotle's burritos contain over 1, calories, which is nearly equivalent to two meals' worth of food.
Chipotle's vegetarian options include rice, black beans, fajita vegetables onions and bell peppers , salsa, guacamole and cheese.
This caused an increase in both the price and the sales of the carnitas burritos. In , Chipotle released a mission statement called Food With Integrity , which highlighted Chipotle's efforts to increase their use of naturally raised meat, organic produce , and dairy without added hormones. Founder Steve Ells has testified before the United States Congress in support of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which aims to reduce the amount of antibiotics given to farm animals.
In January , Chipotle pulled carnitas from its menu in a third of its restaurants; company officials cited animal welfare problems at one of the suppliers, found during a regular audit, as the reason. Also in , Chipotle stopped using genetically modified corn and soy beans in their foods, claiming to be the first nationwide restaurant to cook completely GMO free. Since , a former Kansas State University food safety professor has accused Chipotle of confusing the public by using such terms as "naturally raised meats", "organic ingredients", and "locally sourced" and trying to equate those terms with food safety.
It's important to note that restaurant practices are regulated by health codes, and restaurants are routinely inspected by health officials. Everything we have done in our supply chain and in our restaurants has been within industry norms. A writer for the magazine Popular Science pointed out that Chipotle had publicly acknowledged that they "may be at a higher risk for food-borne illness outbreaks than some competitors due to our use of fresh produce and meats rather than frozen, and our reliance on employees cooking with traditional methods rather than automation.
Miller , a medical researcher and columnist and the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology, asked: And the fresh versus frozen dichotomy is nothing more than a snow-job. In other words, there has been more than a single glitch; suppliers and employees have found a variety of ways to contaminate what Chipotle cavalierly sells at premium prices to its customers.
In December , Seattle health officials closed a Seattle-area Chipotle for a day after it had repeatedly had small numbers of violations during recent consecutive inspections that previously would not have generated a closure order. In , Chipotle was implicated in a norovirus outbreak in Kent, Ohio , where over people became ill after eating at a Chipotle restaurant. In early November , The Oregonian reported that there was a little-known E. H7 strain of E. The outbreak was traced to a single Chipotle location in Seattle and that the incident was not publicized at that time.
Another norovirus outbreak was confirmed to have occurred in August at a Simi Valley, California location in which 80 customers and 18 employees reported becoming ill.
In an unusual move, the U. Attorney 's Office for the Central District of California in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration has gotten a federal grand jury to issue a subpoena in January as part of a criminal investigation seeking documents and information from Chipotle concerning the Simi Valley norovirus outbreak. However, Ventura County officials had been criticized for their handling of parts of their investigation, and for allowing the restaurant to continue to operate after finding health violations during consecutive inspections.
Less than two weeks later, a federal class action lawsuit was filed in the U. District Court for the Central District of California claiming that Chipotle knowingly allowed an ill kitchen manager to work for two days before sending that person home.
Then, the restaurant actively deep-cleaned the restaurant to remove all traces of contamination prior to notifying the Ventura County Environmental Health Division of the existing outbreak, hindering their investigation. The lawsuit also claimed that the number of known victims was as high as and estimates that the number of meals that the infected employee may have come in contact with could be as high 3, At almost the same time as the Simi Valley norovirus outbreak, Minnesota health officials confirmed a Salmonella outbreak that affected 17 Minneapolis-area Chipotle restaurants in mid-August The source of the outbreak was traced back to contaminated tomatoes that were grown in Mexico.
In October , at least 22 persons were reported to have gotten sick after eating at several different Chipotle locations in the states of Washington and Oregon. At that time, an epidemiologist for the Washington Health Department said the culprit appeared to be a Shiga toxin -producing Escherichia coli bacterium, but they were still waiting the outcome of several laboratory tests before they could give a definitive result.
On November 5, the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC had reported that the number of persons reported ill had risen to 40 known cases and that the bacteria samples taken from 7 infected persons in Washington and 3 persons in Oregon states were confirmed to be infected by the same strain of E.
As of November , Health authorities were still trying to trace the exact source of the bacterial contamination, but suspected fresh produce. On November 12, the CDC increased the number of known cases to 50, the number of persons requiring hospitalization to 14, and the number of DNA fingerprint confirmations to The source of the bacteria infection still had not yet been determined at the time of the report released by the CDC and the CDC is trying to use the more definitive, but more time consuming whole genome sequencing procedure to see if they are able to determine the relationships between all of the STEC O26 cases.
In the meantime, Chipotle reopened the closed restaurants on November 11 after disposing all of the food within the closed facilities and deep cleaning those facilities. On November 20, the CDC reported that the number of STEC O26 cases, as determined by DNA fingerprinting, had increased to 45 with 16 persons requiring hospitalization and the total number states being affected had increased to six.
On December 4, the CDC reported that the number of STEC O26 cases, as determined by DNA fingerprinting, had increased to 52 with 20 persons requiring hospitalization and the total number states being affected had increased to nine. Chipotle has since hired a consultant to improve their food safety program and have their program reviewed by both the CDC and FDA.
The five persons infected in the later outbreak were made ill by a generically different strain of STEC O The CDC also reported that federal and local health and food safety authorities were unable to detect traces of the microorganisms in any of the food samples taken from the suspected restaurants or from their supply chain. The CDC, FDA, and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service were unable to determine a point source that was in common in the meals that were consumed by all the victims since some of the restaurants were located far apart and had obtained some of their ingredients from different suppliers while other consumers of the suspected suppliers were not affected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on December 21 that five more people became ill after eating at two Chipotle restaurants located in Kansas and Oklahoma in late November. Preliminary DNA fingerprinting results appear to indicated that the newer cases were caused by a different strain of Shiga toxin-producing E.
Scientists are waiting for the results of the more definitive whole genome sequencing analyses to determine if the organisms responsible for this outbreak are genetically related to the E. The agency has not yet determined which food is responsible for the outbreak. In December , eighty students at Boston College , including members of the men's basketball team, were sickened after eating at a single Chipotle restaurant.
Affected students had been tested for both E. On December 10, officials from the Boston Public Health Commission reported that tests had identified a single strain of norovirus that is responsible for this particular outbreak. Chipotle has since fired the employee and also the manager who knowingly allowed the ill worker to complete his shift instead of following health codes. On February 8, , Chipotle closed all of its eateries nationwide for a few hours during the morning for an all-staff meeting on food safety.
Since the series of food-poisoning outbreaks in lowered trust in the product, Chipotle has tried to lure back its customers with free food and heavier advertising. Same-store sales increased Despite corrective actions, the company faced another setback in implementing their safe food policies in July A norovirus outbreak is being investigated in Virginia.
More than people reported having norovirus-like symptoms and two individuals had tested positive for the virus after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Sterling, Virginia.
In late July , Ohio public health officials launched an investigation after receiving complaints from customers after they had eaten at a Powell, Ohio , location. Center for Disease Control identified the bacteria that cause the outbreak which had affected over persons as clostridium perfringens. Chipotle had two known incidents in which customer credit card payment information was stolen.
In May , Chipotle filed a report with the U. Securities and Exchange Commission that the company may have experience theft of credit and debit card data that might have existed as far back as , when the company first accepted credit and debit cards as payment, until August when the merchant bank that process their credit and debit card transactions had informed Chipotle of the possible theft of credit and debit card information.
Although the Chipotle claimed that there was no proof that theft of credit and debit card information had actually occurred, the results of outside forensic auditing firms concluded that the company's use of flawed card processing software and the use of unsecured internet gateways by some of their computers may have made their information systems at the affected restaurants vulnerable during periods before August In April , Chipotle first announced that their point of sale payment system was compromised during a three-week period from late March to mid-April but gave very little information about the incident.
In November , three men filed a class-action lawsuit against Chipotle alleging that a burrito was listed as containing only calories, when in fact it contained more. They are seeking "unspecified damages and for an injunction against the company to prevent it from posting what it calls misleading information on its food. In the past, Chipotle mainly relied on billboards, radio ads, and word of mouth to advertise.
Stores also give out free burritos on certain holidays; for instance, on Halloween , some locations have had promotions in which free burritos are given to people who come dressed as a burrito. Chipotle gave away free burritos to reporters during the trial of Timothy McVeigh , which took place in Chipotle's hometown of Denver. The Horrors of Processed Food. The promotion is aimed to increase awareness of family farms. In , Chipotle created the "Farm Team", which is a rewards program available only by invitation from restaurant managers.
The Farm Team members have access to a special Chipotle website, where members can earn rewards, i. Founder Steve Ells stated that he hoped the film would make customers appreciate Chipotle's Food With Integrity policy. Chipotle hired comedian Amy Sedaris to create a comedic how-to video on wrapping with gold foil, and spread the video using Twitter. On December 16, , Chipotle ran full page ads in both The Boston Globe and Boston Herald apologizing for the recent norovirus outbreak linked to Chipotle's Cleveland Circle location.
The ad, containing a letter by Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells, affirmed the company's commitment to food safety. Chipotle instructed the employee to delete the tweets.