50 Super Interesting Facts About Chipotle That You Didn't Know About
50 Super Interesting Facts About Chipotle That You Didn't Know About

Here are 50 facts about Chipotle

  1. Chipotle can refer to either a smoke-dried jalapeño chili pepper or a fast casual dining chain that serves Mexican-inspired food.
  2. The pepper is mostly grown in Chihuahua, Mexico, and has a Nahuatl/Mexican origin for its name.
  3. The chain was founded by Steve Ells, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, in 1993 in Denver, Colorado, after he was inspired by the tacos and burritos he found in San Francisco .
  4. The chain grew rapidly with the help of McDonald’s investment from 1998 to 2006, and is now one of the most successful and profitable restaurant companies in the United States.
  5. The name Chipotle comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli, which means “smoked chili” or “smoked pepper”.
  6. Chipotle operates restaurants in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
  7. Chipotle is one of the first chains of fast casual dining establishments, which offer a higher quality and more diverse menu than fast food restaurants.
  8. Chipotle’s menu consists of bowls, tacos, burritos, salads, and side dishes made with fresh ingredients and customizable toppings.
  9. Chipotle’s signature dish is the burrito, which is a large flour tortilla wrapped around rice, beans, meat or sofritas (tofu), cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce.
  10. Chipotle also offers a burrito bowl option, which is the same as a burrito but without the tortilla.
  11. Chipotle’s meat options include chicken, steak, carnitas (pork), barbacoa (shredded beef), and chorizo (spicy sausage).
  12. Chipotle’s sofritas option is made with organic tofu that is braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblanos, and spices.
  13. Chipotle’s cheese is made with milk from cows that are not treated with rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone).
  14. Chipotle’s salsa options include fresh tomato salsa (mild), roasted chili-corn salsa (medium), tomatillo-green chili salsa (medium hot), and tomatillo-red chili salsa (hot).
  15. Chipotle’s guacamole is made with Hass avocados, red onions, jalapeños, cilantro, citrus juice, and salt.
  16. Chipotle’s side dishes include chips, queso blanco (white cheese sauce), queso dip (cheese sauce with peppers and tomatoes), and black beans or pinto beans.
  17. Chipotle’s drinks include fountain sodas, bottled drinks, organic milk, organic apple juice, beer, margaritas, and agua fresca (fruit-flavored water)
  18. Chipotle’s agua fresca flavors include hibiscus and watermelon.
  19. Chipotle’s beer options include local craft beers, Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, and Pacifico.
  20. Chipotle’s margaritas are made with Patrón Silver tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and organic agave nectar.
  21. Chipotle’s first restaurant was opened in a former Dolly Madison Ice Cream store near the University of Denver campus in 1993.
  22. Chipotle’s founder Steve Ells borrowed $85,000 from his father to start the business and expected to sell 107 burritos a day to break even.
  23. Chipotle’s original restaurant was selling over 1,000 burritos a day within a month of opening.
  24. Chipotle’s second restaurant was opened in 1995 using the cash flow from the first one, and the third one was opened in 1996 using an SBA loan.
  25. Chipotle’s logo features a stylized red chili pepper with a green stem and the word “Chipotle” in white on a black background.
  26. Chipotle’s slogan is “Food with Integrity”, which reflects its commitment to using high-quality ingredients from sustainable sources.
  27. Chipotle’s mission statement is “To change the way people think about and eat fast food”.
  28. Chipotle’s vision statement is “To cultivate a better world”.
  29. Chipotle’s core values are “Top performer”, “Empowered”, “High standards”, “Infectiously enthusiastic”, “Happy”, and “Present”.
  30. Chipotle’s food philosophy is based on four pillars: whole or minimally processed ingredients, no artificial flavors or colors, no added hormones or antibiotics, and responsibly raised animals.
  31. Chipotle’s supply chain is composed of over 70 suppliers that provide fresh produce, meat, dairy, grains, and spices to its restaurants.
  32. Chipotle’s suppliers are required to follow strict standards for food safety, animal welfare, environmental impact, and social responsibility.
  33. Chipotle’s main meat supplier is Niman Ranch, which raises animals humanely on family farms without antibiotics or hormones.
  34. Chipotle’s main produce supplier is Taylor Farms, which grows organic lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, and avocados for the chain.
  35. Chipotle’s main cheese supplier is Tillamook County Creamery Association, which produces natural cheese from cows that are not treated with rBGH.
  36. Chipotle’s main tortilla supplier is Mission Foods, which makes preservative-free tortillas from non-GMO corn and wheat flour.
  37. Chipotle’s main spice supplier is McCormick & Company, which provides natural spices such as cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and chipotle powder
  38. Chipotle’s main rice supplier is Lundberg Family Farms, which produces organic brown and white rice.
  39. Chipotle’s main avocado supplier is Calavo Growers, which sources avocados from Mexico, California, and Peru.
  40. Chipotle’s main cilantro supplier is Church Brothers Farms, which grows organic cilantro in California and Arizona.
  41. Chipotle’s main lettuce supplier is Tanimura & Antle, which grows organic romaine lettuce in California and Arizona.
  42. Chipotle’s main tomato supplier is NatureSweet, which grows organic cherry tomatoes in greenhouses in Mexico and Texas.
  43. Chipotle’s main corn supplier is Del Monte Foods, which provides frozen sweet corn kernels from non-GMO varieties.
  44. Chipotle’s main lime supplier is Limoneira, which produces organic limes in California and Mexico.
  45. Chipotle’s main onion supplier is Gills Onions, which provides fresh-cut red onions from California.
  46. Chipotle’s main jalapeño supplier is Baloian Farms, which grows organic jalapeños in California and Mexico.
  47. >Chipotle’s main chipotle pepper supplier is La Morena, which produces canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from Mexico.
  48. Chipotle’s main tortilla chip supplier is RW Garcia, which makes organic corn chips from non-GMO blue corn and sunflower oil.
  49. Chipotle’s main queso blanco supplier is Sargento Foods, which makes natural white cheese sauce from Monterey Jack cheese, white cheddar cheese, serrano peppers, poblano peppers, and tomatillos
  50. Chipotle’s main queso dip supplier is Land O’Lakes, which makes cheese sauce with cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeños, tomatoes, and spices.

Biggest competitors of Chipotle in the fast-casual Mexican restaurant sector are:

  • Qdoba Mexican Eats: It is a fast-food serving restaurant chain active in the United States and Canada. It offers a similar menu to Chipotle, but with more customization options and sauces.
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill: It is a fast-casual restaurant chain that serves burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos and salads. It differentiates itself with a fun and offbeat environment and menu items named after TV and movie stars.
  • Baja Fresh Mexican Grill: It is a fast-casual restaurant chain that emphasizes fresh ingredients and handmade salsas. It serves burritos, tacos, salads, bowls and fajitas.
  • Rubio’s Coastal Grill: It is a fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in fish tacos and coastal-inspired dishes. It also serves burritos, bowls, salads and nachos.
  • Taco Bell: It is the market leader in the Mexican-style fast-food sector. It serves tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas and other items. It competes with Chipotle by improving the quality of its food and offering more variety and value.

How did Chipotle achieve such high revenue growth?

Some of the factors that contributed to Chipotle’s high revenue growth are:

  • Continuous additions of restaurants: Chipotle opened 215 new restaurants in 2020, bringing its total number of restaurants to 2,768. It also expanded its presence in Europe by opening its first restaurant in France and its second restaurant in Germany.
  • Increase in the average revenue per restaurant: Chipotle increased its average revenue per restaurant from $2.2 million in 2019 to $2.3 million in 2020. This was driven by higher menu prices, higher customer satisfaction, and higher digital sales.
  • Growth in digital sales: Chipotle’s digital sales grew by 24.7% in 2020 and accounted for 45.6% of its total sales. The company invested in its digital ecosystem by launching a loyalty program, enhancing its mobile app and website, and partnering with third-party delivery platforms. It also introduced Chipotlanes, drive-thru lanes for online orders, in some of its restaurants.
  • Innovation and differentiation: Chipotle differentiated itself from its competitors by offering high-quality ingredients, organic products, and customizable menu options. It also innovated its menu by introducing new items such as cauliflower rice, quesadillas, and carne asada. It also launched a sustainability campaign called Real Foodprint to highlight its environmental impact.

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