Executives have already admitted this year will be a rough one for the company. In announcing its most recent earnings report, co-CEO Monty Moran said, "2016 will be a very difficult year relative to our past performance. But, by staying true to our food culture and unique people culture, and layering on our rigorous food safety program, we are confident that we are now in a position to aggressively welcome customers into our restaurants and restore customer confidence in the things that make Chipotle great."
Worse yet, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California recently expanded its probe into a norovirus outbreak that sickened more than 200 people (including employees) at a Chipotle restaurant in Simi Valley, California, and has demanded Chipotle to hand over documents and other information related to food safety across the entire company dating back to January 1, 2013. Additionally, at least nine lawsuits have been filed against the company in relation to the illnesses linked to eating at its restaurants, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.