By: Sandee Wang
Chipotle Launched a Campaign to Showcase Its New Food-safety Initiatives
Will you still have Chipotle for your lunch even after the food-safety crisis?
Recently, Chipotle, in the middle of food issue, released a video as a part of the food-safety initiatives on their official Twitter account and website together, with an open letter published on several mainstream newspapers. The CEO Steve Ells talked about the new safety measures of Chipotle in this 2-3 minutes video. The video starts with how Chipotle was founded and its original mission statement, then it mentions its failure to meet food standard in 2015 and then follows the advancement of safety measures, including supplier interventions, advance technology, farmer support and training, enhanced restaurant procedures, food safety certification, restaurant inspection, ingredient traceability, and advisory council.
From a Public Relations perspective, this campaign is a big win. Chipotle has resorted to many methods to ensure customers their food is safe since their E-coli outbreak in 2015. This is not the first time for Chipotle to release videos. In 2015, a four-minute video “Love Story” was published. However, Chipotle only appeared once and it is not an apology video. It caused great confusion among customers when they were looking forward to the explanations about the food safety issue.
But this time, Chipotle did a very good job, for the following reasons.
- Wise Choice of Media Type and Channel.
Now using short video and other visualized tools, instead of publishing the official statement on the website, to convey key messages is smart. The video is short and informative, which is appropriate for posting on social media platform like Twitter. And Chipotle chose to post it on Twitter, the most popular social media site for hard news.
- Trustworthy and Transparent Content.
The messages are clear and trustworthy. At first it recalls the public about the history of this company, the achievements it made and their company mission. Then it talks about failing to meet its own safety standard and then the ways to improve. The contents are very logical and the visual effects of this video are also impressive. Most importantly, it relates to the customers by talking about what they care about – how specifically Chipotle will improve its food security. Customers, as the most important stakeholder in this crisis, receive great attention from Chipotle. And it also provides the more detailed information on their website, with the specific persons’ and organizations’ name. So this is very transparent and it is open to be examined by the public.
- Good Job of Spokesperson.
Chipotle chose the CEO as spokesperson in the video which shows the authority and Steve Ells talks in a sincere way, which also leaves a good impression for audiences. This video will facilitate Chipotle’s reputation repairing process.
Since Chipotle has a good start in rebuilding trust, it should maintain the momentum and create more ways to dialogue with customers. First and foremost, Chipotle should do what they have promised. It cannot afford to another food security issues. Then, Chipotle should update its recent progress on those new initiatives to the public honestly in order to ensure the customers about food quality. And the same time, it is also necessary for Chipotle to leverage the social media by providing interesting brand-related stories and ad campaigns like “Ingredients Reign”.