Are your kids misbehaving now that summer vacation is over? Why not threaten them with a free meal at Chipotle every Sunday this September, where they can eat a kid’s meal for no extra cost if a paying adult is willing to roll the foodborne illness dice with them too.
In its latest bid to draw back customers, Chipotle, notorious for its E. coli outbreaks in 2015, is teaming up with the children’s book Dragons Love Tacos to offer kids a free meal and activity sheet with the purchase of any regular entrée (Chipotle is also offering a free soft drink or iced tea with in-store purchase to high school and college students on Mondays with a student I.D.). The deal is valid every Sunday through September. And while I was being a little sassy before, it does make me wonder — for a chain whose business is suffering because of a food poisoning scandal, is the best way to appeal to customers really to reach out to kids?
I mean, in every warning you hear about foodborne illnesses, from E. coli to listeria to salmonella to hepatitis A, one thing is always mentioned: Children and the elderly are most at risk when exposed to dangerous bacteria, viruses and disease. I guess there’s no real way to ensure that only people with robust immune systems end up eating Chipotle’s foods, but the kids-eat-free deal just seems a little tone-deaf to me considering what the chain has gone through in the past few years.
If you’re less paranoid than I am, then it is a pretty good deal. The kid’s meal at Chipotle is healthier than those offered at most fast-food restaurants. It’s also nice that they’ll be including an activity sheet for kids to scribble on, so you can more effectively manage your overstuffed burrito and its salsa-dripping back end without having to entertain your child too.
The deal is valid only through September, so if you’re feeling brave enough, hit up Chipotle with your kid this Sunday. They’ll (probably) thank you.
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