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Chipotle customers must now wear masks

The fast-casual chain joins a growing list of restaurants mandating masks inside to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Chipotle Mexican Grill this week joined the growing ranks of restaurant chains mandating that customers wear masks to enter its stores.

“The health and safety of our employees and guests is our top priority,” Laurie Schalow, the company’s chief corporate affairs and food safety officer, said in a statement. “Chipotle has supplied non-medical masks for all employees to wear as part of their uniform and proactively made the decision to require guests to wear masks in all restaurants.”

On Friday, McDonald’s announced it would require customers to wear masks starting this Saturday. Noodles & Co. and other chains and major retailers have instituted similar mandates.

In an interview earlier this month with Restaurant Business, Chipotle Chief Restaurant Officer Scott Boatwright said the fast-casual chain was “encouraging” guests to wear a mask by instructing employees to “ask politely.”

In states with mask mandates, Boatwright said, employees were meeting non-masked customers at the door to take their orders.

“Most oblige and some are apprehensive to do so,” he said.

Purchasing multiple masks for all employees was “quite an added expense early on,” he added.

“Masks are here to stay, at least for the near term,” Boatwright said in reference to restaurant workers.

Despite reopening about 85% of its dining rooms, Chipotle is still seeing a large number of its customer base opt to order food through digital channels. Digital sales skyrocketed 216.3% during the second quarter and now account for 60.7% of total sales.

 

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