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Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle hopes free burritos and new food-safety efforts will bring back customers

Chipotle hopes free burritos and new food-safety efforts will bring back customers

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is pulling out all the stops to win back diners, including $10 million in food-safety spending for its small suppliers — plus free burritos.

The Denver-based chain, plagued by a sales downturn after food-borne illnesses sickened customers, closed all of its 1,971 U.S. stores for part of Monday so employees could attend a national team meeting. By way of apology, Chipotle offered customers who texted in “RAINCHECK” a free coupon for a burrito, but only for a limited number of hours on Monday.

Founder and co-Chief Executive Steve Ells said the chain will spend up to $10 million to help its smaller suppliers produce safer meat and...

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