Chipotle Case Study

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Chipotle, Inc.

History of Chipotle

Steve Ells is the founder and CEO of Chipotle. Steve is a trained chef and opened his first Chipotle store in 1993 at a former Dolly Madison ice cream store in Denver, Colorado. His goal was to serve high quality, delicious food quickly and in a “fast-casual” setting (Ells).

As Chipotle began to grow and expand, Steve took the initiative to learn about the way most of the food in the US is produced and processed. He was quite disturbed when he discovered that pigs were raised in confinement, produce was grown on factory farms with very little respect for the environment and dairy cows were confined and injected with hormones (Ells). This experience prompted Steve to meet with ranchers and farmers who were dedicated to raising livestock and growing produce naturally. He partnered with these producers to provide fresh natural food to his customers (Ells).

Steve’s commitment is to run his business in a way that is doesn’t exploit animals, people or the environment and is the philosophy that guides every decision he makes. The Chipotle history continued as follows:

1995 & 1996 - Seven additional restaurants were opened in the Denver area. 1998 - Chipotle brought on outside investors.
1999 – The first Chipotles opened outside of Colorado: Minneapolis and Columbus 2000 – Chipotle started serving naturally raised pork. Today, Chipotle serves 100% naturally raised pork. 2002 – Started serving naturally raised chicken. Today, Chipotle gets 100% of its chicken from farms that meet Chipotle’s standards. 2004 – Chipotle starts using zero trans-fat frying oil.

2006 – Chipotle goes public on New York Stock Exchange.
2007 – Begin serving 100% naturally raised beef and processed cheese and sour cream. 2008 – Black beans are certified organic and its local food initiative is taking off! 2009 – Steve Ells testifies before Congress to try to eliminate the use of antibiotics in ranching. 2010 – In April, the first Chipotle location in Europe was opened.

Steve and his team continue to look for better ways for improving the business… more great things to come (Ells)!

Mission Statement and Core Values

Chipotle’s mission statement is “to change the way people think about and eat fast food” (Ells). Chipotle does this by using high quality ingredients, classic cooking methods, charging reasonable prices, having a distinctive interior of design, and friendly people to take care of each customer. This is a fusion of fast food and fine dining called fast-casual dining (Ells).

The value philosophy Chipotle uses to enhance its vision is “Food with Integrity” ("Mission, Vision, Values, and Principles of Chipotle Mexican Grill"). By using the statement “Food with Integrity”, Chipotle is referring to using the highest quality ingredients that are grown and raised naturally ("Mission, Vision, Values, and Principles of Chipotle Mexican Grill").

Core Competency(s)

Chipotle’s core competencies are using higher-quality natural ingredients by carefully selecting suppliers and concentrating on where it obtains each ingredient to continually improve its food. Chipotle supports this by using naturally raised pork, beef and chicken, as well as using organically and substantially grown produce.

Chipotle also only offers a few products: burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salads in order to keep a simple menu, but will consider additions (Ells).

Product Lines of Chipotle

Chipotle’s menu consists of four main courses. Chipotle serves burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, which are burritos without the tortilla wrap, and salads ("Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. SWOT Analysis."). Chipotle take pride in serving fresh, organic ingredients in its dishes. The beef, chicken and pork come for naturally raised animals, with no hormones given to the animals ("Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. SWOT Analysis."). The sour cream and cheeses come from naturally raised dairy cows ("Chipotle Mexican...
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