With the headlines last month, it looked like Chipotle Restaurants would be in some deep guacamole. While I can’t speak about their stock results since the negative press started, I sure can tell that Chipotle Restaurants are just as busy as ever with the long lines of hungry customers.
While I won’t go into the specifics, Chipotle Restaurants had some food-borne illness reports. Chipotle went into repair and damage control mode immediately and that alone is something to note. They modified cooking techniques to narrow gaps in food safety and they even removed that ‘communal lemon bucket’ at the drink station. What is impressive is that they closed all restaurants for one day to train all of the staff about food safety.
Chipotle Restaurants have a very loyal following and that could also be part of the reason they bounced back so quickly. The food is quick, fresh and they tout some of the industries ‘halo’ from locally sourced produce to grass fed beef and humanly raised pork and chicken. While you still need to watch the calorie and sodium content here (they both can be high if not careful), you can actually eat semi-healthy.
The Chipotle Restaurant at International Plaza in Tampa is always packed. They do a great job moving you through the line at lunch and never seem to miss a beat. Burritos and rice bowls are a bit too much for me, so I usually opt for the salad. Fresh romaine, a half spoon of black beans, fajita grilled vegetables, grilled chicken, a small amount of cheese and medium-hot tomatillo sauce is piled into the bowl. I skip the ‘vinaigrette’ dressing they push since the salsa works as a great dressing (and you save a ton of sodium and calories). The whole salad bowl made like this keeps it about 375 calories (about 300 if you skip the cheese). You can even use their online nutrition calculator to plan ahead if you are trying to watch salt, calories, fat, carbs, etc.
This is the ‘food court’ location, so all items are packed ‘to-go’. This is really not a typical salad and with all the flavors and toppings, makes me feel like I’m eating a burrito. I’ve actually made Chipotle a regular ‘go-to’ spot recently since I can control what goes into it. Not to mention, there are some ‘hacks’ that you can use to maximize your Chipotle toppings (for FREE!). Check out that posting here.
Chipotle Restaurant is literally everywhere today, but this location is located at the Food Court inside of International Plaza in Tampa.