Though the burrito chain voluntarily shut down at least 40 locations during the outbreak to keep customers safe, made all restaurants re-train employees in food safety regulations and cooperated with the CDC (and law enforcement), people still remain wary to return to the once-beloved establishment.
In January, the company launched a text message campaign to give customers free food as an apology for the outbreak. According to TIME, approximately 5.3 million coupons have since been downloaded, with nearly half redeemed.
Though the giveaway was an instant success — who'd say no to free food? — the Tex-Mex chain is still suffering from low customer turnout.
As such, they're trying the promotion again. As CFO Jack Hartung says,
Free burritos — turns out it works. It brings people into the restaurants.
The company plans to send out an additional 21 million coupons to customers throughout the country.
The coupons, valid until mid-May, are good for a free entrée of the customer's choice.
Approximately 10 million have been sent out so far, so keep an eye on your mailbox -- a free burrito may be in your future.