Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Letter that I just sent to Chipotle

Good Evening.  

Today I went to Chipotle on Sunset Hills in Reston for a take-out order. My family has eaten at Chipotle restaurants before, and we like it because we can control what goes into our meals. My husband is allergic to beans, and we like that we can see our meals being made, and ensure that he is not going to bite into a beef and bean burrito when he has ordered a beef burrito. His allergy is actually quite severe, but we have always felt comfortable eating at Chipotle because of the stated ability to see our food being made and the knowledge that the restaurants use safe food handling practices.  

Tonight, as I was standing at the front of the line, the woman behind the counter was making either a phone or fax order--the orderer was not present. After placing rice and beans on the burrito, she placed shredded pork over the beans. Another woman behind the counter told her that it was supposed to be part pork and part beef, so she removed half of the pork (which had been in contact with the beans) and put it back in the bin that it came from.  

Not a single person said anything. I told her that she had just cross-contaminated the food, and she looked at me like I had two heads. I obviously was not able to order food for my husband at that point; I had no idea if this had happened before (to the chicken or beef) or if it was only the pork that was contaminated.  

In an era of allergies and other health issues, it is vitally important that food preparers be educated to not cross-contaminate food. I cannot imagine that it is the policy of Chipotle to correct incorrect orders by putting food back into their bins after they have already been added to a dish.  

Thank you for your time.  
Lynne Powell

Received this message from Chipotle:


Thanks for taking the time to address your concern. I am sorry to hear that your visit to our Reston restaurant yesterday was not impressionable. We shouldn't be depositing food back into their container after they have been incorporated into an order to avoid cross-contamination. Because the health and well-being of our guests is of utmost importance to us, we'll follow-up with our team at this location and make sure that this does not happen again.

We'd like to invite you back for a meal on us, if you'll willing to give us another try. Simply send me your mailing address, and I will send you a couple of free burrito cards shortly. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention so that we can address our team and correct this.

We hope to see you soon!


Louisa Fredrickson | Marketing Consultant
Chipotle Mexican Grill

Responded with:


Thank you so much for your quick reply. I would be willing to give Chipotle another try, but I am concerned about how long I should wait for the follow-up at this location to take place. Should I give it a week? Or will it happen sooner than that?

My mailing address is:

Lynne Powell

Thank you again for your attention to this matter.

-Lynne Powell

Received this message from Chipotle:

Good morning Lynne,

I heard back from our area manager for Reston and he informed me that this would be addressed immediately with our crew. I will make sure that our team our there is in touch with you to assure you that we have properly followed-up with our team regarding your concerns, and that cross-contamination will not be an issue going forward. I am optimistic that you will hear from them soon.

And I will send the Powell family a Chipotle treat this morning—you should receive the cards next week J  Come see us again soon!


And then received this message:

Hi Lynne,

I spoke with Alex (our General Manager at this store) yesterday and he already has addressed this with his managers and crew.  I am really sorry you had to experience this.  You can trust me in that this is definitely not the norm.  You should feel free to try us at any point; as this should have been corrected immediately.

Again I am really sorry this had to happen to you, but I appreciate you taking the time to let us know about this.


So I thanked them both and am looking forward to my next trip.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad they got back to you fast. After I tweeted, they responded within two hours. Not bad!

    I said:

    I just read: You've Got to Eat: Letter that I just sent to Chipotle: http://bit.ly/c2c3iG via @addthis @chipotletweets #chipotle #allergy

    and they responded with:

    @ladyozma Our CS team will respond to her as quickly as they are able and make sure we get that handled in that restaurant. - Joe

    Joe wasn't kidding. CS was SUPER FAST!