Chipotle Rebounds From Foodborne Crisis

Innovative changes at Chipotle helped the fast-casual restaurant chain create an impressive turnaround and its stock was a top-performer in 2018. ( Chipotle )

Chipotle Mexican Grill was rising a crest of popularity in mid-2015 and its stock price was trading at around $750 per share. The fall of 2015, however, produced a series of foodborne illnesses from its food that caused customers and investors to flee, but not before the stock had been slashed by two-thirds.

Chipotle’s stock price bottomed out early last year at about $250 per share. Since then the stock has soared, gaining 49% and making Chipotle one of the best-performing stock of 2018.

Even during the stock market’s recent volatility, Chipotle has fared well. Since Dec. 24, the Dow’s recent low-point, Chipotle stock has risen 23%. On Tuesday the stock was up 13 points to near $500 per share.  

The turnaround has been credited to CEO Brian Niccol, who joined the company in last February. He launched new initiatives that included remodeling stores, introducing new food items and decreasing wait times for customers.

Now, Chipotle is expanding its menu to include items for specific diets, and diners will have the option of choosing from a number of "Lifestyle Bowls" geared to those seeking healthier alternatives. Based on several popular diets, these meals cater to customers on the paleo, keto, and Whole30 diet plans. It isn't a coincidence that these options were released just in time to serve those with New Year's resolutions to make healthier lifestyle choices.

“These first-to-category, diet-driven menu offerings are helping those who have committed to living a healthier lifestyle by making it easy to order delicious bowls that only contain the real ingredients permitted by certain diet regimens,” Chipotle said in a statement.