The Chipotle Mexican Grill cannot catch a break as the fast-casual chain has reported that their sales have rebounded after a long slog in the wake of food safety outbreak. The executives told Wall Street analysts that the payment processing system of the company was hacked.
“We want to make our investors and customers aware we recently detected unauthorised activity on the network which supports payment processing for the purchases made in our restaurants.” said the chief financial officer Jack Hartung during an investor presentation. He also said that Chipotle (CMG, +2.38%) has implemented some additional security measures and actions which it believes have stopped the unauthorised activity. The activity seems to have occurred between March 24 through April 18.
The Chipotle says they are also working with law enforcement, a cyber security firm, and the payment processor to address this matter.
“We will refrain from providing any additional commentary now or in our Q&A,” said Hartung. “We hope to notify any affected customers as we get further clarity about the time frames and restaurant locations which might have got affected.”
This hacking news has dulled the enthusiasm around many other big news which Chipotle reported on Wednesday: the quarterly financial results from the restaurant chain since the fall of 2015 when sales started to get dented from a long food safety crisis. The food safety story generated headlines throughout much of 2016 as the company struggled to contain the proper messaging after an E. Coli outbreak hit several states called into question Chipotle’s promise of serving fresher and healthier foods than rivals like McDonald’s (MCD, -0.61%). Sales in wake of that outbreak sputtered for all of 2016, with the same-restaurant sales—a key metric that excludes the sales from new establishments—falling for the five straight quarters.