Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol spoke out Monday on nationwide protests sparked by the police killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis one week ago.
In an appearance on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” Niccol told Jim Cramer that a number of the franchise’s restaurants took a hit as some peaceful protests took a violent turn in recent days.
“Fortunately, all of our employees have been safe,” he said in the interview. “We have had some damage to restaurants, but it’s all damage frankly that we can patch up and fix.”
Windows were reportedly smashed at at least two Chipotle locations in Charlotte, North Carolina and Indianapolis over the weekend. Niccol did not say how many restaurants will need to be repaired.
A slew of businesses and properties were damaged across the country after anger surrounding issues of police brutality and institutional racism, in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic, reached a tipping point in the past week. As some protesters took violent action, the vast majority of demonstrations were peaceful.
“All these events have been tragic and it hurts on so many levels,” Niccol said.
“I’m optimistic about our future and I think, you know, we have to address some of these issues that are absolutely plaguing, you know, this great country,” he said, “and I believe we will address them and we’ll get back on with doing the right things for everybody.”
“Hopefully, we’re building a culture where everybody knows they’re supported, it’s an inclusive environment and we truly can get on with making this world a better place,” he added.