Chipotle is known for their delicious burritos, bowls and tacos that are filled with all natural ingredients. They claim to not use any artificial flavors or fillers whatsoever. They get all of their healthy ingredients from local farms and not factories. They were also the first national restaurant chain to disclose the GMO ingredients in their food. And now they claim to not use any ingredients that are GMO. Chipotle looks and seems like the best and healthiest “fast food restaurant” that there is.
They have also tried to tackle a very big but much ignored ethical issue that has been going on in many work places across the United States, which will be discussed later on. Although chipotle brings in over a billion dollars as a company in total revenue each quarter they have ran into trouble, when headlines of an E. coli outbreak has surfaced in multiple states. Many people that reported eating there have gotten sick and the news spread like wildfire. As of Jan 27 of this year, the CDC has reported a total of 55 people infected with the outbreak strain of [E. coli] from 11 different states*. 1 of those people were hospitalized. This clearly caused a major impact on the business and success of Chipotle. In Chipotle’s code of conduct, it states that Chipotle is committed to the highest standards of integrity in all of our activities and compliance with both the letter and spirit of the law. We expect that you will reflect these standards in your dayto-day dealings on our behalf (Chipotle code of conduct).
It also states that the company stands behind their own as long as they act with the right morals and integrity that they look for when they hire each and every employee. Even with these recent outbreaks of the E. oli their employee base has stayed loyal to their company and have made great strides to help improve past these troubles. Even though the company has taken about a 44% percent loss in their fourth quarter profits, the company has made great strides to try and recover from their scare. In their code of conduct it states that every employee from the newest tortilla maker, all the way up to their CEO should have the integrity and honor to be able to the right thing even when no one is looking or watching them. With this motto in mind chipotle has made huge attempts at getting their relations with public back to good standings.
They have offered many free burrito coupons along with special deals for teachers, cops, nurses, and many other professions to come. They also launched a festival tour across America in which they celebrate their food and culture. They have made these events free to the public and is all being done to try and get back into good faith with the public. Along with trying these things that they are doing to try and get back into the good graces with the public, chipotle has made an effort address all the recent breakouts of the E. oli strain. On the eighth of February of this year they shut down every single store that they operate in order to address and have a food safety meeting. While the cause of E. coli is not all Chipotle’s fault it is still caused by food being contaminated, not properly cooked or can even be from the source of the meat itself, Chipotle took all the blame for this happening to their chain because at the end of the day their product was served to those guest who got sick. So they owned up to it and addressed the issue internally.
They made their employees sit through a mandatory four hour class, which touched base on all things that related to food safety. They had also they issued a warning out to their local supplies that stated that they needed to be practicing the right food safety protocols that everyone else in the industry does. Overall as a company they addressed the issues they were having from the employees, to their product dealers and even tried to make it up to the public. Now that ethical issue that they have been battling throughout their twenty two years of being open for business is the fact that eople who “look different” struggle to get jobs. Now this includes people who have tattoos, big gauges in their ears, crazy kinds of hair and so on. Chipotle prides itself on being different from their competition because of the fact that they don’t use the processed foods and they don’t also use the foods that contain the GMOs. They also allow their employees to different as well, while their employees do have a uniform that they must all wear which does include a black shirt and hat with their logo.
Chipotle offers their employees a verity in the options of hats and shirts to wear, because they still want their employees to feel that they have a sense of choice and individuality when it comes to their uniforms even. Also they don’t require their employees to have to cover their tattoos if they are showing, take out their earrings, keep a cleanly shaven face or even have to cut their hair. If you have ever walked into a chipotle you feel a very friendly and joyful vibe because of the fact that people are genuinely happy to work there because they get to express themselves in ways that not a lot of companies offer.
In an interview with a manager at a local chipotle he expressed that they company itself really pushes the management staff to not only help grow the business but they also want to try to help improve their employees as people as well. They try to run their stores as a family and they believe that the happier their employees are, then the happier their customers will be. During their interview process they have each and every employee who is on shift go through an interview process with their next potential candidate for a spot on their team.
Once every employee has gone through and had that proper time getting to know the person then they come to a decision and decide as a team whether or not to bring the person on board. The manager said during the interview with him, that this is a companywide policy to make everyone feel a part of the team and to make everyone feel as if their opinions really counts and makes a difference in the company. Chipotle employees may face many ethical problems throughout their shift. One obvious thing would be resisting the temptation to steal money from the register.
They may be alone and no one would find out that it was them who took the missing money. This actually happens quite often and is probably the most common. Another problem they could run into in a normal work day would be making sure all of the food they are putting out is fresh and presentable. They might become lazy and not feel like making a fresh batch of meat and just serve an old batch. They might not cook their meat at the correct temperature because they are in a hurry.
They might not wash the vegetables because they don’t have time. These are the little things that can cause an employee to commit an ethical violation. A possible solution would be to extend the hiring process and take the time to actually make sure that the employees they are hiring are going to make a good fit in the company and make the right decisions. They should have more than one interview and provide the interviewee with possible situations that would cause them to make an ethical decision.
If they provide the right answers to the managers liking then they would be a good fit for the company. A procedure guide would also be a good idea to incorporate into the everyday work routine at Chipotle. The procedure guide should include what to do in a sticky situation. For example, when a customer gets angry and causes a scene they should a set procedure for that kind of situation. The employees are a large part of the ethical side of a business. If you don’t have honest and fair employees then your business will fail ethically.
With this kind of environment that Chipotle is creating for their business overall, they’re hoping to be able to recover from their loss of their reputation and profits of lately. Their CEO is hoping that they’ll be able to get back on track from their 44% drop in profit ever since the E. coli breakout happened. They hope to gain the trust back from the public with these campaigns and coupons to try and get people back into their restaurants and hopefully keep the brand growing and prosper and be able to bring their compassion and care for food and people to the world.