Company Info

Consider This: Chipotle's Rough Go


In recent weeks, legions of burrito fans across the US have had their Chipotle-loyalty put to the test; E Coli was found in the food of a few stores across the country. The media attention to the issue was intense, in large part because Chipotle recently went public and it's stock price had been riding high. Given the magnitude of the company's issue, consider this:

Public Relations: Chipotle was at the epicenter of a PR nightmare. Given the choice, the company decided to tackle the issue head-on. It carved out a special section of its website to address consumer concerns and rolled out its CEO for numerous interviews about what the company was doing to ensure its food is safe. Developing a point of view about Chipotle's reaction to its crisis could provide a great story to weave into your interview.

Finance & Strategy: Not surprisingly, Chipotle's income cratered - dropping 44% - in the quarter during its food scare. Financial considerations might include a point of view about how a company should prepare for weathering storms that impact profits. From a strategic perspective, you might want to consider how you'd help to improve company profitability in the short term - for example, do the vegetable burritos deliver higher margins and, if so, could you create a strategy to try to drive additional sales of those?

The point we're trying to make is that the Chipotle storm provides lessons to be learned from - and applied to - a multitude of industries. Developing a point of view about this issue could help you differentiate yourself in the boardroom by using a recent, real-life business example to highlight your approach to problem solving.

(Our favorite Chipotle meal: a chicken burrito bowl with corn salsa and a side of chips & guac.)