On Chipotle Mexican Grill

Maybe you live in one of the 28 States (or the District) already home to it. Maybe you’re one of the millions of people already eating it. And maybe, like me, you can’t wait to help someone discover it. Maybe you’ve heard of Chipotle.
Chipotle serves gourmet burritos that won’t give you buyer’s remorse. Their ingredients are all-natural, the portions are plentiful, and the price is easy to swallow. The company was founded in 1993, received a minority investment from McDonald’s in 1997 (dispel ownership rumors here), and went public in 2006 – and it’s stock price hasn’t looked back since. Read a few reviews and you’ll see why. Try one of their five entrees, and you’ll be calling your stock broker.
Their marketing team could write the book on customer experience, too. The menu is as simple as the staff is friendly. The napkins show you tips for unwrapping your burrito. The drink cups are printed with stories about why their motto is “food with integrity.” Posted on a wall is an oft-updated poster detailing the percentage of organic beans they use (I think they’re up to 25%). Burrito rollers gladly explain why they don’t serve queso dip: “That would require preservatives.” To know what’s playing on the restaurant’s 12-speaker sound system, just look under your burrito: every artist – mainstream or indie – is listed in your basket’s paper liner. And, to understand why the restaurants look like they do, read this.


The whole experience is summed up by one reviewer from Kansas City: “Chipotle’s rejection of standard corporate agribusiness fits right into my notions about food.”


Free Burritos

I don’t work for Chipotle, but someone who does e-mailed me at work a few weeks ago. Apparently, my business card was drawn from the fishbowl this month, and the regional Chipotle Marketing Guy (that’s his actual job title, honest) wanted to reward my good fortune by treating my entire company to lunch. The problem is that my company has 50,000 employees.

After explaining that I had no intention to take $400,000 from his company to feed mine, and that our no-solicitation policy kept us from posting such offers, I told the Marketing Guy that taking co-workers to lunch was still legal. He responded saying he’d gladly send me some free burrito coupons. Who am I to say no?

So, this is where you come in. I have a very small department at work, and we’re all going this Wednesday to eat free burritos. If you live where I do, let me know, and I’ll save a coupon for you to join us. If you don’t live in my neck of the woods, find a restaurant near you and make sure you try the guacamole.
By the way, the back of the free burrito coupons have in fine print: “This used to be the paper you threw in your recycling bin. (100% PCW, acid free, FSC certified, green seal certified, made with wind power).”
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8 Responses to On Chipotle Mexican Grill

  1. Josh Osborne says:

    Mmmm. Chipotle. Mmmmm. Any leftover guac?

  2. Anonymous says:

    If the Chipotle Marketing Guy would run for pres… I’m pretty certain he’d have a good shot. Plus, I look forward to the day that all we’ll see off the highway are, Chipotle Exit 6…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I should open one of these. Love their food. Wish they were closer. Moe’s is a so-so substitute. Great post Matt.-Ben R.

  4. Adam says:

    the guac is OK, but is a rip-off a $1.50 per serving. profit margin is through the roof. i’m a huge fan of chipotle, but the guac is a scam.

  5. rfox says:

    Who blogs about burritos? Ok, ok – I’ll admit, Chipotle has done something that ALOT of companies fail to do. They’ve achieved an amazing level of continuity between their values and the products that actually hit the street. They are the Apple Computers of Burrito Companies and Matt’s serving up the Koo-Aid!

  6. matthewpedia says:

    Is $1.50 too much for Chipotle’s ice-cream-scoop-sized serving of the green stuff?After Adam’s comment, I searched for the guacamole recipe and found what one Chipotle chef originally posted in the Dallas Morning News, which now resides here: http://www.recipezaar.com/36679. So, here’s my challenge. If you’re making mexicna at home, try this recipe. Get the ingredients (keep in mind that Chipotle uses organic stuff) and mix up a batch of Chipotle guac. Let us know how much it costs and how much it makes.

  7. Adam says:

    I decline your challenge. #1, I’m happy with my wife’s guac recipe. #2, the economies of scale don’t apply for me. No matter what I spend on ingredients, we’ll never know what kind of discount Chipotle gets on the exact same items. #3, I don’t use an oversized serving of guac in an attempt to justify an expensive serving. I think we can all agree that $1.50 for a serving of guac is too much.

  8. matthewpedia says:

    Good points. Luckily, the free burrito coupons cover the guac!

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