The state of Chipotle, in one image pic.twitter.com/KalBuTKX66
— David Holmes (@holmesdm) April 26, 2016
The streets are red with the blood of Chipotle execs this afternoon . . . or is that tomatillo salsa?
In any event, the nationwide burrito chain—which is worshipped by some and considered by others to be little more than a more glorified Taco Bell with higher prices and fewer options—was poised to have a pretty rough day. After all, this was Chipotle’s first earnings call since hundreds of its customers came down with foodborne illness, an event so calamitous that Chipotle closed all of its locations for a day last February for a company-wide food safety meeting.
As Chipotle sought to rebuild its corporate image—which, unsurprisingly, had gone in the toilet along with the lunches of so many sick customers—it ended up giving away more than $40 million worth of food in a bid to win customers back. The company’s execs swore on the earnings call that Chipotle’s “recovery” was in full swing. But, for now at least, there are a number of burrito-sized holes in its latest earnings report: