Unlucky for him, Chipotle’s epically bad E. coli outbreak started just weeks later — and right in Cunningham’s own backyard in Washingon, no less: The first store closures occurred in the Pacific Northwest, after customers there started growing violently ill. Naturally, Cunningham “started to panic,” he tells Q13 News. He checked his go-to locations where, by that point, he knew the staff, but “no one would come to the door.” He looked into getting burritos couriered in from another town, but that was going to get cost-prohibitive. It was at this point that “he knew he’d have to make a trip north to British Columbia.” He took an international road trip to Canada, purchased seven burritos, and stuck them in his freezer.
Worse, he’d committed himself to another ten months of this insanity. And because, as most will recall, Chipotle’s safety issues lasted a bit longer than seven days, Cunningham had to return north to resupply. (At one point, the dude’s window broke during a typical Pacific Northwest downpour, so he drove back to Seattle getting pelted by rain.)
In other words, his diet has been a pain. He also has to plan around holidays, pack a burrito into his backpack if he goes on a day hike, and apparently has an office full of co-workers who’ve grown less than enthused at the thought of lunch with him. The good news is he’s on day 315 right now, and adds he’s lost weight while consuming one of food’s single most caloric items. The already-sculpted guy says he’s actually lost 25 pounds so far by controlling the rice, bean, and cheese portions.
Chipotle has yet to win back the customers who fled in droves, so maybe instead of those costly marketing gimmicks, it should’ve gone a different route — hired Cunningham as spokesperson, turned the food-borne-illness scare into a pro, and marketed those tainted burritos as the perfect way to shed a few pounds.