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Chipotle taps Zenput to ensure food safety standards

Software, also used by 7-Eleven, allows remote store monitoring

Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to improve restaurant operations, including following its food safety protocols, through the deployment of Zenput.

The San Francisco-based company’s software is primarily used by brands such as Domino’s Pizza, KFC, and 7-Eleven to audit restaurant operations remotely. In the case of Chipotle, field leaders are tracking store operations to ensure managers are staying on task and adhering to procedures, from food safety protocols to efficient rollout of new menu items.

“Zenput gives our field leaders clear visibility into restaurant operations and trends so they can focus their coaching efforts and hold teams accountable,” Scott Boatwright, Chipotle’s chief restaurant officer, said in a statement.

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain, for example, used Zenput’s mobile platform to support the re-launch of chorizo by giving restaurant managers a pre-launch readiness checklist. Field leaders, who oversee multiple locations, were able to evaluate the restaurants’ execution of chorizo using the software.

“Restaurant operators invest heavily in operating procedures and planning key initiatives but rolling them out and ensuring compliance is non-trivial,” Zenput CEO Vladik Rikhter said in a statement. “Our work with Chipotle is another example of how industry leading brands are leveraging our mobile technology to see inside and improve the operations of every location to exceed customer expectations.”

Chipotle spokeswoman Laurie Schalow said the chain’s field leaders “are using the Zenput app to check dozens of food safety standards. This includes controls in place related to temperatures, handwashing, and employee wellness.”

Over the summer, faulty food temperatures were the likely cause of a foodborne illness outbreak that sickened several Chipotle customers in Ohio.

The outbreak, which impacted more than 600 people, prompted the chain to retrain hundreds of employees at the brand’s more than 2,450 restaurants. The training reinforced food safety protocols put into place in 2016 following a series of foodborne illness outbreaks that crippled the chain in 2015.

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said at the time of the outbreak in Ohio that Chipotle has a zero-tolerance policy for any violations of its food safety standards.

“We are committed to doing all we can to ensure it does not happen again,” he said.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @FastFoodMaven

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