The restaurant is known for its large burritos, assembly-line production, and use of natural ingredients. The company has released a mission statement called Food with Integrity, which highlights its efforts in using organic ingredients, and serves more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant chain. Chipotle is one of the first chains of fast casual dining establishments.
Founded by Steve Ells in 1993, Chipotle had 16 restaurants (all in Colorado) when McDonald's Corporation became a major investor in 1998. By the time McDonald's fully divested itself from Chipotle in 2006, the chain had grown to over 500 locations.
With more than 1200 locations in 43 states, Washington, D.C., 2 Canadian provinces, England, and France, the chain had net income in 2011 of US$215 million and a staff of 30,940 employees.
Founder Steve Ells attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Afterward, he became a line cook for Jeremiah Tower at Stars in San Francisco, California. There, Ells observed the popularity of the taquerías and San Francisco burritos in the Mission District. In 1993, Ells took what he learned in San Francisco and opened the first Chipotle (39.67834°N 104.967682°W) in Denver,Colorado, in a former Dolly Madison Ice Cream Store near the University of Denver campus using an $85,000 loan from his father. Ells and his father calculated that the store would need to sell 107 burritos per day to be profitable. After one month, the original restaurant was selling over 1,000 burritos a day.The second store opened in 1995 using Chipotle's cash flow, and the third was opened using... [continues]
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