Update, 5:31 p.m.: Chipotle has now officially reopened the location, after closing earlier today.
A representative from Chipotle’s corporate office deferred comment on the situation to their Public Relations office, which could not be reached at this time. We will update again if any more information becomes known.
Update, 1:11 p.m.: Chipotle ownership responded to our inquiry, saying it expects to reopen the location soon:
Thank you for taking the time to write us about our Penn State University restaurant. Unfortunately we had to close this location after a few employees quit, locking out a majority of others who are enthusiastic to return to work. We expect the restaurant to re-open shortly. I’m sorry for any inconveniences this may have caused you. We hope to see you again soon.
After four managers quit in the last two days and an angry letter was posted in the window of Chipotle, the extremely popular Hiester Street restaurant is currently closed.
This morning, a since-removed sign was posted in the window of the store reading, “Ask our corporate offices why their employees are forced to work in borderline sweatshop conditions. Almost the entire management and crew have resigned. People > Profits”:
The State College Chipotle is closed after four managers quit in the last two days. Here’s the sign on the door: pic.twitter.com/yxZJLKbw4f
— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 10, 2014
According to former manager Steve Healy, the Chipotle was extremely understaffed with no help from its corporate offices. On days when they needed 13-14 workers in the store, they usually had about six to eight, often resulting in workers doing 10-12 hour shifts without any breaks to eat.
In the last two days, the Chipotle staff has incurred huge losses, Healy said. This morning, he arrived at the Chipotle to open up, when one of the workers quit on the spot. At that point, he decided to shut down the store, and he and another manager put that sign on the window. Healy surmises that people from the corporate offices are in town to try and re-open the store.
“We just felt neglected,” he said. “…Working conditions are heinous. I’m not trying to take down the Chipotle corporation, I just want to see people treated better. We’re not trying to start a strike or anything like that.”
Neither the State College Chipotle nor the corporate offices could be reached for comment. We’ll keep updating as we get more information.