Published on April 6, 2016, at 4:30 p.m.
by Leah Tobak.
As many of us know, Chipotle Mexican Grill has spent the past six months recovering from a major PR crisis due to multiple E. coli outbreaks in its restaurants. These epidemics sickened numerous customers across the nation in two separate waves. The company’s crisis management skills have already been called to question due to its lack of immediate transparency and its parting with well-known PR firm and long-time representative, Edelman.
Despite its current state of recovery, Chipotle just announced its filing for the trademark “Better Burger,” implying the company plans to expand by starting a burger chain.
Chipotle has previously opened various restaurant collaborations, including ShopHouse: Southeast Asian Kitchen in 2013, and Pizzeria Locale, which specializes in wood-fired pizza. These expansions exist nationwide, spanning from California to Colorado to Maryland.
But hang on; shouldn’t Chipotle wait to resolve one PR crisis before delving into another world of potentially E. coli infested ground beef?
The public response has agreed with this sentiment. When USA Today released the information about Chipotle’s new endeavor, the comments came rolling in. Jabs included, “What’s the daily special at this new burger joint — Salmonella Surprise?” and “1 botulism burger come’n up!”
Sorry Chipotle, but it looks like the consensus is clear: It’s just too soon.