How Chipotle Survived Its Food Safety Crisis

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—In the early 1990s, Chipotle founder Steve Ells had a dream of owning a high-end restaurant. Until he could gather the funds for such a venture, Ells opened the first location of what would become the fast-casual burrito chain.

Instead of moving on from Chipotle, Ells stuck with the menu and expanded the “real food fast” chain across the country.

Two decades later, Chipotle was hit with a slew of food safety issues that required decisive action. In early 2018, a new team was brought in to reassure customers and reinvigorate the brand, including Chris Brandt as chief marketing officer.

“We came in with a vision that we wanted to make the brand more visible, more familiar, more relevant, and truly reclaim our place in culture,” he recalled onstage at our annual Brandweek summit earlier this month.

Watch the full panel to hear how Brandt and his team helped Chipotle weather the crisis.

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