- Ben Lawson Newsy.com
Moe's Southwest Grill has unseated Chipotle as America's favorite fast casual Mexican restaurant.
The news comes from a Harris Poll survey that assesses how people feel about certain restaurant brands.
This year, Chipotle didn't even rank in the top four after claiming the No. 1 spot the past three years in a row.
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Taco Bell, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill rounded out the rest of the top spots.
That loss of consumer faith probably had a lot to do with several Chipotle restaurants throughout the country being linked to E. coli and norovirus infections.
The company shut down all of its locations across the country for a day back in February to deal with its food safety issues.
Chipotle tried to lure customers back by mailing promotions for free burritos. The company reports two-thirds of the coupons were redeemed.
The damage was apparently already done. Chipotle reported sales at stores open more than a year fell 30 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
One analyst told USA Today: "Brand perception is down. In retrospect, I just don't think they did enough to convince customers that Chipotle food was safe to eat."
And it looks like Moe's reaped some benefits from Chipotle's misfortune. A survey from an analytics firm called Placed found Moe's saw a 5 percent increase in visitors when Chipotle was struggling with health concerns.
An unchanging menu likely hasn't helped Chipotle, either. Moe's already has a wider selection of ingredients and occasionally offers limited-time menu options, while Chipotle's offerings rarely change.