Update: went to Nkrth Brunswick NJ location last night for dinner. 7:30PM. When I got there line was halfway to the door. By the time I sat down to eat it was not only to the door but past it. A constant influx of patrons flowed in keeping the line to the door during my 15 minutes there. This was another location a few months ago that was almost empty at this time.
This is now two data points for me personally witnessing. I now have a much higher level of confidence people are indeed returning and dramatically so in the last month.
I will be adding to my position.
It was a sealed pre-cut fruit bowl with safety seal on it prepared somewhere else but ultimately Costco sold it. Point is you can get sick anywhere and from anything.
I had a buddy in NYC get severe food poisoning at a Ruby Tuesdays salad bar just 2 months ago. He nearly died from it. Did you hear about that all over the news? Probably not.
1000's of people get sick every day from food poisoning at restaurants. You just hear about Chipotle because they traded off the better quality food mantra. Made for a juicy story for media. That will fade however and people are already returning
Yes Chipotle should have had safety protocols and didn't. Ells and Moran should be giving back the 200M plus they raked from the shareholders personally for failing to operate properly. Procedures are now in place as they overcompensate for previous shortfalls. This will serve them well in the future.
I think the board and senior management need to go and bring in some seasoned operators who don't cost the company 50M a year in exec comp.
Actually I think the exact opposite. If comps were bad they would be required to preannounce. Due to the buyback in place it is in their favor if they keep the share price down and maximize the buyback leverage. If things are indeed improving no reason to let the public know and shoot the price up thus lowering the amount of shares they can take back in.
Yes my one store is just one data point. I clarified this in my original post that started this thread if you go back and read that. However this one store was dead a few months ago and now it has lines to the door. Before the outbreak the line would be out the door so not quite back to normal yet but an enormous improvement especially considering my observations were post lunch rush.
As I said shorts can toss this as one data point or read into it that perhaps the drop has stopped and people are returning to various degrees at chipotle locations around the world
True but this is why it will take longer than typical for traffic patterns to return to more normal levels. A single incident or single cluster would have been short lived. A few incidents as they had are going to take longer. However it appears at least in some stores people are indeed returning.
People forget and go back to old patterns as long as no new danger signals present themselves. Chipotle knows they have to have a perfect record right now or they are toast. They know the stakes are high and are spending accordingly and have put protocols in place (which should have already been the case).
Management was highly negligent in their duties for allowing this to happen on their watch. Considering Ells and Moran combined as Co-CEO's were among the highest paid executives in the entire world (top 1% I believe) you would think they would have run a better food safety program.
Anyway, I have some confidence after their come to jesus moment that they will keep the food safe, people will eventually forget about what happened and return (they already are starting) and the stock price and earnings will eventually follow. If they drop the ball and more food scares occur I will mark them for dead.
BTW Chipotle is held to a much higher standard. When Costco had salmonella in their precut fruit bowls it didn't make any news or headlines. If that was Chipotle's Guacamole it would be on every major network that night and talked about for weeks on financial media. Such is the game...
Shorts only hear what they want to hear. I'm just telling you shorts what I observed. Good luck with your positions. I'm fine if you don't believe the report and urge you to go to the stores yourself and find out. Hoping chipotle stores are all empty and not recovering is not a good investment strategy because hope and reality are separate.
Best of luck
You obviously did not read what I wrote. I didn't say it was where it was 1 to 2 years ago. Yes it is off from there but it is dramatically up from where it was just a few months ago. If you had ready my post you would have realized this.
The trend is improving. I cannot tell you when it will be back to prior levels I can just say at this store it was up dramatically from where it was not too long ago post crisis.
FYI you run that risk at every restaurant and grocery store you go to. I got salmonella from a fruit platter at Costco. Do you go there?
Went by Bridgewater NJ store which a few months ago had no line at all at 12:30PM to 1:30PM. I walked right in on two visits and ordered. Happened to be in the area this past Friday at 1:30 so looked in and saw a line was just a few people short all the way to the door. This is after the heavy 12PM to 1PM "lunch rush" time too.
I was leaving the area around 2:15PM and checked again and the line was right up to the door. Night and day compared to just a few months ago. Just one store and one data point but take that FWIW