Prior to the end of 2015, Chipotle restaurants were flourishing because of what they promoted as their attention to detail in making fresh food that was seen as a healthier alternative to fast food options. That run of success came crashing down with news that some customers became sick from multiple viruses that originated from their food supply.
What followed was an extended public relations campaign that included in part giving away free food to lure customers back. That helped somewhat, but sales still were affected and weren’t helped by unrelated news of a high executive from the company being arrested for being part of a cocaine ring.
One change that’s in the process of being made as 2017 continues is the installation of technology within each of all 2,200 Chipotle stores that will remove sources of pathogen out of the air. In addition, those pathogens will be removed from surfaces and out of any ice within a restaurant.
Using the concept of photohydroionization, each restaurant will be able to have the surrounding air purified. This will help prevent issues like E. coli, Norwalk and MRSA from ever surfacing in the first place.
What’s known as the Food Surface Sanitation Tunnel boils down to the use of a high-tech version of a conveyor. Each time food is either packaged or processed, it will go underneath special ultraviolet lighting. That will help destroy any pathogens that would ordinarily be present.
Since ice can bring with it such illnesses as listeria as well as a buildup of unwanted substances, Chipotle is installing the IMSB sanitizer to eliminate the problem.
Chipotle’s numbers are still struggling compared to their past highs, but their most recent quarterly report has more understandable reasons for lower profits: the price of guacamole has increased.