Chipotle to briefly shut down every single store on February 8 to talk about E. coli

Chipotle To Briefly Close All Restaurants On Feb. 8
Chipotle To Briefly Close All Restaurants On Feb. 8

For a short period on February 8, every single Chipotle store across the U.S. will shut down.

During that time, Chipotle will be holding a company-wide meeting to address a series of health issues at its stores that have left hundreds sick and hammered the restaurant chain's credibility for high-quality food.

The company will use the time to discuss food safety and take questions from employees, according to initial reports.

"We are hosting a national team meeting to thank our employees for their hard work through this difficult time, discuss some of the food safety changes we are implementing, and answer questions from employees," Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold said in a statement emailed to Mashable.

The break comes after Chiptole has been left reeling by an E. Coli outbreak that forced the company to shut down dozens of stores. Two locations have also been linked to customers sickened by the norovirus.

The widely publicized health problems have hammered the company's sales. Chipotle's fourth-quarter revenue in 2015 was down 30% compared to the same period a year earlier — particularly bad for a company that had been growing rapidly.

Chipotle CEO Steve Ells has been trying to reassure the public that food safety is being taken seriously, saying he had pledge to make its restaurants "the safest place to eat."

Other companies have made similar maneuvers when faced with adversity. In 2008, Starbucks held a simultaneous three-hour retraining for employees. The company had been battling sluggish sales and sought to recreate the friendly, local feeling of its original shops.

Learn more about the recent Chipotle closings:

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