A Chipotle burrito is on the new cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.
And it’s vomiting.
Over the last month or so, Chipotle has been dealing with the fallout from now two separate E. coli outbreaks traced to its restaurants.
The cause of the outbreak is still unknown.
In response, Chipotle management has pledged to enhance its efforts on food safety, with co-CEO Steve Ells pledging to make Chipotle “the safest place to eat.”
This effort from Chipotle, as outlined in the Businessweek story and other reports, will likely see more of the company’s food preparation moved to central facilities while less of its food will be locally sourced in the meantime.
Businessweek reports that Chipotle’s pork and beef, for example, are braised at facilities outside Chicago. The company’s beans are made in Denver.
And so on.
On Tuesday, JP Morgan analyst John Ivankoe downgraded the stock to “Neutral” from “Overweight” citing the seemingly endless series of negative headlines about the company. “The new news flow shows the impact continuing and more importantly a management team that seems to be scrambling for answers,” Ivankoe wrote.
Earlier this month Chipotle warned that its fourth quarter sales would drop sharply in the wake of the E. coli breakout and other negative headlines.
This latest cover won’t help.