Crash and Burn of Chipotle
The Benefits of Paid Sick Leave for Fast Food Workers
March 16, 2016
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Most employees are guilty of going into work while being sick at some point of time
In the restaurant industry, going to work sick probably isn’t the best decision. Just one cough or sneeze could affect a fellow coworker, your work area around you, or contaminate a costumer’s food. Contaminating your work area could hurt the business dramatically.
After reports of E.coli and salmonella outbreaks were found in Chipotle food items, sales decreased by 14.6 percent in the final months of 2015. In January, sales continued to decrease another 36 percent. For a billion dollar in sales, a drop like that is extremely costly. Not only has the sales of Chipotle been damaged, but the company’s brand is seriously tarnished.
Outbreak occurred in Minnesota effecting 64 people in August of 2015. The company later release the salmonella outbreak occurred from improper handling of poultry and fresh vegetables at similar times.
In late October, customers contracted filed multiple federal lawsuits against the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant. Chris Collins, who experienced the symptoms of E. coli, told CNN affiliate KATU
“The excruciating pain in my abdomen was something I’ve never experienced. It feels like your guts are being ripped out.”
Crisis hit the food chain when more than 55 people were infected in over 11 states and closed 43 restaurants in Washington and Oregon in early November.
80 students from Boston College in Massachusetts were infected after eating at Chipotle close to their campus in early December. Researchers believe the students were not infected by E. coli outbreak, but a common virus that resulted from improper handling of poultry and a presence of a sick employee.
On January 19, Chipotle announced they will offer fast food workers paid sick leave benefits
The CDC announced the E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle ended on February 1ast. CDC provided information on the website informing viewers that over 60 people were infected, 15 were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.
On February 8, the company shut down stores for a company-wide meeting where the company leadership went over new safety guidelines, such as utilize pre-shredded cheese and already diced tomatoes and using a DNA based testing to check for possible diseases before reaching the restaurants, and the employee’s new paid sick leave benefits.
If only the company learned the importance of paid-sick leave benefits for food workers.
After being hit by dramatically sales changes, Chipotle restaurant supporter officer, Gretchen Selfridge, recently spoke to Associated Press. In the report, Selfridge said “When anyone vomits in the back of the house or the front line, this is a red event, which means we close the restaurant immediately.”
In September 2015, President Obama signed an executive order mandating federal contractors to give their employees the opportunity to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave per year effective in early 2017. Obama’s executive order provides workers one hour of leave for every 30 hours they work weekly. Obama believes the impact will transform paid sick leave benefits from a privilege for white collar citizens to a basic right.
Not only does Chipotle not care about their sick employees, but recently they promoted kissing people in public for free burritos and guacamole.
It was rumored on Twitter and Facebook that the popular company offered free burritos on Valentine’s Day. The only thing an interested customer would have to do is kiss in front of a participating location.
Chipotle announced on Twitter the whole deal was a rumor and more of a free publicity stunt on their part.
Chipotle hopes their next plan will woo more customers into their nationwide restaurants; that’s if they haven’t completely shut the company doors by then.