Chipotle says sales trends are showing improvement but were still down 26 percent for February as it tries to recover from a series of food scares.

The drop in sales at established locations for February follows a 36 percent decline for January. The February results were boosted by an extra day in the month this year, the Denver company said Tuesday.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is trying to bounce back after an E. coli outbreak and other incidents sent sales plummeting starting at the end of October. Executive have since said the incidents are behind them and that they are stepping up marketing and promotions to get customers back in stores.

Credit Suisse analyst Jason West has noted the chain's promotions for free entrees could be eating into sales.

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