Carnitas Comeback

Is Chipotle recovering from its food poisoning disaster?

Chipotle has a steep hill to climb to get back into most of America's good graces, but it appears to have taken its first big step last month, CNBC reports.

As results from a survey conducted by William Blair & Co. explain, "It appears that sentiment bottomed in January, with willingness to eat at Chipotle increasing after the company's digital coupon for a free entrée spurred improved traffic in the latter half of February."

The company has been offering free burritos, chips and salsa to get customers back through its doors. It's part of a $50 million campaign to help the mega-chain recover from its food poisoning disaster. In New York City, that money's being spent on subway ads that have popped up around town and heaps of Pandora advertisements that tout Chipotle as a place where dishes are prepared with simple, straightforward ingredients.

But as most of the free-food promotions end, there are concerns that sales will dip again in March. At least one analyst expects it will take a year for the brand to fully recover.