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Runs to the border: People are still terrified to eat at Chipotle

barfblog, by Doug Powell, March 29, 2018

Amy craved Chipotle when she was pregnant.

For whatever reason, 10 years ago, while Sorenne was forming in Amy’s belly, I would have to go on Chipotle runs.

It was Manhattan, Kansas, it was easy to get there, but I hated the hypocrisy of buying Chipotle because I knew it was shit.

But when your wife is pregnant, posing has no stature.

I dutifully bought her Chipotle.

According to a new UBS report, the biggest reason people say they're eating Chipotle less frequently is a concern about food safety.

The chain's E. coli outbreaks — in which 55 people were infected after eating at Chipotle — occurred almost two and a half years ago.

Chipotle is struggling to attract customers who rarely or never visit the chain, with 32% saying "nothing" would make them want to visit more often.

Customers still haven't forgotten Chipotle's food poisoning scandal more than two years later.

Food safety concerns top the list of reasons that customers said they're eating Chipotle less frequently, according to a UBS Evidence Lab survey of 1,500 people. In the report, released on Monday, 26% of respondents cited a concern about food safety as the main reason they were eating at the chain less.

In late 2015 and early 2016, 55 people were infected in two E. coli outbreaks after eating at Chipotle. While the company made major changes to its food safety policies and practices, there have been a number of food poisoning scares over the last few years.

As a result, Chipotle's food safety reputation is still far worse than any other fast-food chain. For comparison, roughly 15% of respondents say that food safety concerns are the main reason they are eating at McDonald's less frequently.

Customers who rarely or never eat at Chipotle are the most likely to hold food safety concerns against the chain, with a whopping 60% of people who don't visit the chain indicating a "significantly negative impact or a complete loss of trust in the brand."

In March, former Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol took over as Chipotle's top executive. At Taco Bell, Niccol turned around the chain with creative ad campaigns and an emphasis on the chain's value proposition, including its dollar menu.

Runs to the border.