As Chipotle attempts to recover from its large-scale foodborne illness catastrophe, it's embarking on a campaign to get customers back in its restaurants. And if stricter food safety guidelines and paid sick days for employees won't bring you back to the land of sofritas and guacamole upcharges, perhaps bulk burrito discounts will — or so the chain is apparently hoping.
According to AdAge, Chipotle is offering a catering discount in conjunction with Super Bowl Sunday: The first 1,500 orders for February 7 will get $50 off their box o' burritos or catering spread for 20 people or more. As Time points out, taking advantage of such a promotion will require a certain leap of faith on the part of customers: "The deal doesn’t merely require you personally to be comfortable eating Chipotle; it requires that you be comfortable with your entire Super Bowl party eating Chipotle."
Meanwhile, Canadian-born fast-casual chain Freshii, which has more than 100 locations across 15 countries including the U.S., is hoping to capture diners who've been scared off Chipotle by offering 50 percent off its food, which includes fresh juices and burritos, for a few hours on February 8 — the same time period that all Chipotle stores will be closed for food safety meetings.
But even in the wake of countless news reports about the hundreds of people who were sickened (or even hospitalized) by the chain's food, there are no doubt some Chipotle die-hards who will take advantage of the Super Bowl discount: "People who are loyal customers haven't been affected" by the outbreaks, brand crisis expert Eden Gillott Bowe recently told Eater. But for those who have been put off barbacoa burritos for fear of foodborne illness, a $50 discount probably won't convince them to feed Chipotle to their entire Super Bowl party; to win that group back, the chain will have to focus on gaining back diners' trust by making certain no one else gets sick.
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