“You know how a lot of these people have the idea that you can eat something and not get sick?
That’s just the way it is.”
“Chipotle’s been really clear that they want to do a lot more than that,” says Anthony Carnevale, the executive chef of the new Chipotle restaurant, which opened on Thursday in Manhattan.
“And they’re really committed to doing that.”
In the early days, Chipotle had to deal with a high rate of food-borne illnesses.
The restaurant has a team of more than 1,000 people to ensure the health of all its patrons, and it has hired thousands of food safety inspectors to inspect the restaurant every day, checking to see if its food is contaminated, the Associated Press reported in February.
But Chipotle says the problem is more serious.
“We have a lot in store for our customers,” Carnevale says.
“It’s going to take a lot longer than we anticipated.”
He says the restaurant has been doing more than just testing its food, though.
Chipotle is partnering with a number of medical institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, to study the effects of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 9,000 Americans since being discovered in late 2015.
“There is an expectation that if you eat at Chipotle, that you are protected,” Carlevale says.
The new restaurant has more than 200 seats and an outdoor patio, and the dining room is made of a steel mesh, so customers can’t touch the food.
And in a city that has been plagued by outbreaks, the new restaurant offers an alternative to a counter that serves only chips.
It’s also a sign of Chipotle trying to shake off the reputation of being the city’s No. 1 spot for food-related mishaps, Carnevalsa says.
But the restaurant says it’s doing a lot to address the issue, too.
“This restaurant is built to withstand the impact of a pandemic,” he says.