Chipotle Mexican Grill Essay

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Steve Ells, the creator of Chipotle Mexican Grill, had a vision and strategy “to change the way people think about and eat fast food.” Since 1993, Chipotle Mexican Grill has gone from a single store operation in Denver, CO into a 1,230-unit endeavor with in excess of 800,000 paying customers each day across 41 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and the United Kingdom. In 1998, McDonald’s found interested in the company, and purchased stake in the company, followed by acquiring a controlling portion in early 2000. Interestingly enough, McDonald’s executives recognized how Steve Ells was such a vital part of the company and how he viewed leadership, so they decided to keep him in the position of Chipotle’s chief executive even after it gained …show more content…

When Chipotle again became an independent organization, Steve Ells and his team kept the company focused on a path of quick expansion and continued to leverage the same plan that was around when the company began. From 2003-2004, Chipotle began to use organically-grown produce found at local farms such as: beans, dairy products such as cheese and sour cream, meats raised with animal welfare in mind and never fed with antibiotics or growth hormones that accelerate weight gain as do many other farmers. This ideal was a long-term strategy exercised by Chipotle and dubbed “Food with Integrity.” Chipotle used almost exclusively meats that were brought up naturally in nearly all of its restaurants in the United States. This did bring on additional challenges in regards to both price and availability of sufficient supplies of ingredients for their products. Due to these constraints, many restaurants were forced to revert to conventionally raised chicken and steak. Furthermore, the farmers took longer to grow produce, which caused an increase in demand and, in turn, their prices. As seen in Exhibit 1, the increasing market prices for organic ingredients and natural meats from farms accounted for the higher costs of Chipotle’s food, drinks, and packaging which increased from 30.6% of revenues in 2010 to 32.5% of …show more content…

The company was figuring out solutions and ideas to promote Chipotle even farther such as using more “owned media”, “Cultivate Chicago” and also community events. Chipotle also increased the use of social media in its marketing mix and gave customers new opportunities to access Chipotle in new ways that promoted convenience in exchange this gave Chipotle an advantage to engage with its customers. Also, this gave the company an opportunity to compete with its competitors. Chipotle competed with national and regional fast-casual service and casual dining restaurants, in addition to locally-owned foodservice establishments. More specifically, their competition include large chains such as Taco Bell, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Qdoba restaurants. According to the case text, in 2010 Taco Bell’s sales in the United States equaled about $6.9 billion, $6.8 billion in 2009, and $6.7 billion in 2008. Another competitor is Moe’s Southwest Grill which was founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 2000. The menu at Moe’s products include burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, tacos, nachos, rice bowls with chicken, pork, or tofu, and salads while focusing on high levels of customer service. When people walked into the Moe’s entrance, they were welcomed by staff with a “Welcome to Moe’s!”. Qdoba is certainly a main competitor which also opened in

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