To the delight of Chipotle consumers across the country, the popular Mexican restaurant chain’s carnitas crisis has come and gone.

 

Chipotle recently announced that it would be pulling carnitas from one-third of its locations because of the substandard living conditions of pigs from its primary supplier. The chain has since remedied the situation, thanks to an emergency supply of humanely raised pigs from another one of its suppliers.

 

Niman Ranch has come to the chain’s rescue with pork from its reserve, which is usually kept aside for higher demand buying periods. While the reserve typically comes into play during the holidays, it has proven equally valuable in the present scenario.

 

Chipotle took carnitas off the menu at about one-third of its stores due to the unethical treatment of pigs from one of its primary pork providers (thrillist.com)

Chipotle took carnitas off the menu at about one-third of its stores due to the unethical treatment of pigs from one of its primary pork providers (thrillist.com)

As carnita-loving consumers rejoice over the swift resolution to Chipotle’s pork crisis, it is not likely that the boost to the brand’s image will fade as swiftly.

 

Chipotle’s decision to remove carnitas from the menu of many of its locations is a prime example of the chain’s latest effort to put ethics at the forefront of its business. It is a move that reflects the same standards and ideals that were demonstrated when Chipotle became the first restaurant chain to willingly label GMO ingredients.

 

While indeed the chain doesn’t currently carry out all of its business based on the ethical standards it claims to stand by (a lot of the chain’s beef still comes from conventionally raised cows), there is no denying that it has exhibited its commitment to growing ethically as a business.

 

Ideally, it would be fantastic for a restaurant chain to be able to build its entire business solely on ethical standards and an ethical supply chain. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to choose these options when it means compromising strong revenue.

 

That being said, it’s essential to recognize the little steps that a chain like Chipotle is making in the right direction. Its commitment to corporate responsibility is a goal that cannot be achieved overnight, but Chipotle has made it clear that it has no intention of going anywhere but forward as it builds a more ethical brand.

 

How do you think the brief but noteworthy pork crisis will positively impact Chipotle’s brand image moving forward? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi