How Chipotle Survived Its Food Safety Crisis

CMO Chris Brandt on his mission 'to reclaim our place in culture'

Editor: Viviana Muniz
Headshot of Chris Ariens

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—In the early 1990s, Chipotle founder Steve Ells had a dream of owning a high-end restaurant. While gathering the funds for his venture, Ells opened the first location of what would become the fast-casual burrito chain.

Instead of moving on from Chipotle, Ells stuck with the menu and expanded the “real food fast” chain across the country.

Then in 2015, a series of E.coli outbreaks at Chipotle restaurants required decisive action. In early 2018, a new team was brought in to reassure customers and reinvigorate the brand, including Chris Brandt as chief marketing officer.

“We came in with a vision that we wanted to make the brand more visible, more familiar, more relevant, and truly reclaim our place in culture,” he recalled onstage at our annual Brandweek summit earlier this month.

Watch the full panel to hear how Brandt and his team helped Chipotle weather the crisis.

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@ChrisAriens Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.