Chipotle has had, since about 2015, a streak of uninterrupted bad luck. Already reeling from Jack Donaghy’s burrito slander and an E.coli outbreak, the chain was hit by the norovirus. This was followed by bizarre criminal activity, a malware attack that stole customer credit cards, and, finally a return of the norovirus earlier this week. How could it get worse? Enter the rats.
As Cosmopolitan reports, rodents began falling from the ceiling of a Chipotle in Dallas. According to diners, including one who had video proof, the rodents dropped from the rafters and then proceeded to crawl around the restaurant as horrified crew members tries to sweep them up with brooms. Chipotle has already confirmed and apologized for the incident citing it as “extremely isolated and rare.” But while reps say that what happened in Dallas is contrary to anything they’d want customers to encounter, it’s clear that this will be another piece of bad PR for the chain, which can’t seem to catch a lucky break despite herculean efforts to redeem itself with loyalty programs and new menu items.
There’s likely more fallout coming. The chain’s recent problems are obviously affecting its stock price, to the point where investors are taking the company to court over alleged mismanagement. Chipotle is arguing, and quite fairly, that these are just two unfortunate one-off incidents packed closely together, but that may not be enough to convince the shareholders who stick around. Chipotle may be able to recover from this, and have been working hard to stick to their mission of locally sourced, preservative free food amid the scandals. But everything hinges on whether customers will come back, and Chipotle needs to figure out if they will, fast.