You truly don't know what you've got until it's gone.
Chipotle has announced that, following multiple food-borne illness outbreaks, the chain will temporarily close all of its restaurants on Feb. 8. Don't start stockpiling burrito bowls yet though -- it's just for "a few hours."
"We're going to have an all-company meeting, all 60,000 or so of us," Chipotle founder and CEO Steve Ells says. "We're going to let all of our folks know what we know about how this happened, and, in detail, all the steps we're taking to ensure that it won't happen again."
What Chipotle does not want to happen again is, as they explain, an E. coli outbreak that sickened 52 people and a norovirus outbreak that sickened some 140 people. There have also been reports of salmonella outbreaks.
"The fact that anyone has become ill eating at Chipotle is completely unacceptable to me and I am deeply sorry," Ells wrote in an open letter. "We are committed to becoming known as the leader in food safety, just as we are known for using the very best ingredients in a fast food setting."
(You can read the details of how, here. It's kind of boring.)
For the record, in a food safety Q&A on their site, Chipotle claims, "Yes, it is safe to eat at Chipotle. Any ingredient that may have been linked to the E. coli incident is no longer in our supply chain."
Anyway, people don't seem to be taking the news well:
IM ACTUALLY GOING TO SHED TEARS CHIPOTLE IS CLOSING DOWN EVERY SINGLE LOCATION— kt joooooonesssss (@kashmoneykt) January 15, 2016
CHIPOTLE IS CLOSING A DAY BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY NOOOOO— Melissa the Twin (@morsetwins) January 15, 2016
Chipotle closing? Say it ain't so Jesus 😫— Rah (@_MariahImani) January 15, 2016
I'm kinda sad that Chipotle is closing for a day, even though I literally go there less than once a week— Chris's Angry Tweets (@SeeingInGreen) January 15, 2016
There is good news: Though reports of a $1 #ChipotleBurritoWeek are fake, Chipotle CFO Jack Hurtung says the chain will double the amount of free food they give out. "We've always had it, but it just kind of drifted to such a low-grade level that it was kind of non-existent," he revealed.
Moral of the story: FREE CHIPOTLE!
Meanwhile, if you never want to eat Chipotle or any other fast food again, follow Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen's super-strict diet: