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Closing call: Chipotle closing store for one day won't help matters

February 8 might not mean much to the majority of people, but for the brass behind Chipotle, that day is all too important.
Call it a reboot, a "national meeting" as Chipotle is referring to it as, or just a chance to show the public that this company is addressing issues.
What you definitely can say is that it's the most important meeting Chipotle will have in its history. The company is announcing that on February 8 all the stores will be closing for, as previously mentioned, a national meeting to address concerns and actual reports from the general public as it relates to food poisoning occurring as the food chain.
About 500 people have reported becoming ill after eating at the store since last summer, July specifically. Reports have also suggested that the bad news about Chipotle isn't over just yet, either.
The number of reports in that time period is shocking and appalling, and the disregard it would seem for health and wellness of customers stretches into food preparation and the lack of employees adhering to person health as well, with Chipotle reportedly saying that some employees didn't follow the hand washing protocol. This occurred just this past December in Boston.

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So what does all this mean for Chipotle, and what to they hope to gain from this meeting on February 8?
What this is for Chipotle is a public relations nightmare and one that perhaps would have crushed another company completely. Chipotle has managed to survive to some degree, but sales from the once juggernaut of a restaurant chain have slipped considerably and the stock was essentially cut in half after these series of health concerns from varied stores around the United States.
Is this meeting more about going through the motions and trying to show customers that Chipotle actually cares? Or, do they really view this as an opportunity to talk to employees openly and honestly about the future of a company that is losing its foothold as a viable entity in the restaurant chain business?
No one, aside from those running this upcoming meeting, know what direction the discussion will take, what the tone will be and ultimately what the outcome is going to be. Chipotle certainly is doing all the right things and saying the right things, too, but this isn't going to help them initially. Only time can do that for them at this moment, but whether they'll have enough to regain anything resembling credibility seems like a stretch.

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