Remember when you used to have to wait on an insane line just to get your Chipotle burrito? That's far from the norm anymore at many Chipotle locations across the country.

Why? Because people are still scared of the E. Coli outbreak that halted sales over the summer, causing a plethora of cooking changes, and even closing down all of their restaurants for a one-day food safety meeting

In an attempt to apologize (while also filling their stores with customers), Chipotle gave away nearly 5.3 million free burrito vouchers on February 8th.

Now, in their continued attempts to make the stores appear as busy as they once were, Chipotle has announced that they are sending out millions of coupons to people offering a free entrée between now and May 15th. 

Grubstreet reports that Chipotle has already sent out anywhere between 6 million to 10 million of these coupons, with the intention of sending out a total of 21 million free vouchers, or one for every 12 Americans. 

Chipotle executives believe that by filling the stores (even with free food), other paying customers will become incentivized to eat at their stores once more. 

Chief financial officer, Jack Hartung, stated that customers feel that the emptiness of stores has become "kind of eerie." 

To be honest, they've kind of got a point. Nobody wants to eat at a restaurant where they are the sole patrons for the entirety of their meal. When you add in the fact that Chipotle has basically become synonymous with health scares, it's understandably become increasingly difficult to fill stores.


We're not saying that you'll still be playing a version of E. Coli Russian roulette every time you eat at Chipotle... heck, you'll probably be safer than most with their new food safety procedures, but it's still daunting. 

Unfortunately, Chipotle's financials have taken a massive hit, reporting their first quarterly sales loss since becoming a public company. 

Many executives believe that their sales aren't to blame, but their increased marketing an promotions in the attempts to restore faith in the brand. 

Having successfully eaten at Chipotle since the outbreak, all we're wondering is where our free entree voucher is, and is guac still extra? 

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[via Grubstreet] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]