DENVER, CO — As coronavirus sweeps across the only industrialized nation without paid sick leave, many employers are torn between stemming the tide of the pandemic and maintaining their bottom line. Chipotle, the fast-casual Mexican chain, believes that they have found the appropriate balance by allowing all of their service workers to make the day’s burritos and tacos at home and bring them into the restaurant at the beginning of their shifts.
“Our hybrid “Roll-at-Home” model will reduce the risk of exposure to our valued employees,” explained Virginia Lyons, a spokesperson for the chain, “while still maintaining the same quality food experience our customers depend on during these trying times.”
Under the new policy, Chipotle line staff will be allowed to take home raw ingredients at the end of every shift to be stored in home refrigerators overnight; based on pre-orders and other demand metrics, employees are now encouraged to prepare, cook, and assemble various combinations of menu items from the comforts of their own kitchens. “We ensure that every burrito artist maintains sanitary work conditions throughout the duration of the “Roll-from-Home” policy;” Ms. Lyons clarified, “Chipotle is doing everything in our power to prevent this disease from spreading to our loyal customers, at all costs — except for providing paid sick leave to ill or affected employees.”
The chain has taken additional measures to prevent the virus from spreading, such as doubling the thickness of all buffet-line sneeze guards, just in case the virus gets stronger.