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Chipotle Mission Statement, Vision, and Core Values Analysis

Chipotle Mexican Grill inc. is an American restaurant chain, located primarily in the United States, but also in Canada, Germany, France and the UK. Chipotle specialises in Mexican food which is made directly in front of customers as they order. The restaurant chain has grown rapidly to become one of America’s favourite restaurant chains due to its unique and more personal way of creating food for the customer.

Chipotle’s Story

Steve Ells began his career working as a line cook in San Francisco where he came up with his own plan to set up a Mexican restaurant chain. In 1993, the first Chipotle opened in Denver, Colorado with help of Steve’s father who provided the initial loan.

The restaurant saw immediate success and was able to continue getting loans to expand rapidly. McDonalds saw this success and became a minority investor in 1998 and continued to invest large amounts of capital into Chipotle. When McDonalds first invested in 1998, there were 16 restaurants. This number grew to over 500 in just 7 years.

The company issued its Initial Public Offering in January 2006 for $22. The share price now is around $1,500. This means with just a $1,000 investment in Chipotle when it hit the public markets, your profits would be almost $70,000. Going public gave Chipotle the finances they needed to continue their rapid growth. Soon after, in 2008, they opened their first international Chipotle restaurant in Toronto.

In 2018, Brian Niccol replaced Ells as CEO, relegating Ells to a chairman position. As CEO, Niccol’s first move was to relocate Chipotle’s headquarters from Denver to Newport Beach, California while other corporate roles in Denver and New York offices were relocated, leading to many Chipotle office workers losing their jobs. A few months later, 65 under-performing restaurants were closed. Whether this was due to Steve Ells’ leadership is up to speculation but within two years, he cut all ties with Chipotle by resigning as the chairman and leaving the board of directors.

Chipotle Mission Statement Analysis

The phrase “cultivate a better world” is thrown around a lot to Chipotle applicants and recent employees and can be considered as Chipotle’s mission. This is because they intend to have the image of a company which serves the community and aims to make life easier for customers by providing cheap meals, which are assembled quickly and are healthy – at least by fast food standards. By using the word ‘cultivate’ in their mission statement, it suggests that Chipotle provides organic and healthy products as the definition of cultivate is to prepare land for the raising of crops.

It is clear to customers and employees that Chipotle does in fact try hard to have a positive impact on society. For example, 67% of employees at Chipotle say it’s a great place to work compared to 59% at a typical U.S. based company.

Chipotle Vision Statement Analysis

“We’re committed to sourcing the very best ingredients we can find and preparing them by hand.” This vision is no surprise after reading the mission statement. Once again, the company clearly aims to provide organic and healthy food for the customers, which when compared to other fast-food chains like Chick-fil-A, has a very positive pact on the community.

As part of Chipotle’s vision, they wanted to be unique. Their business model is different from all others in the restaurant industry. Their vision is different for the following reasons:

  • Public image: Chipotle has a positive impact on the economy, providing incomes for employees and healthy, cheap and quick food for customers. This has given the company a fantastic and well-deserved reputation throughout the US and beyond.
  • Unique serving: Chipotle employees create the customers’ food in front of them which no other well-known restaurant chain does. It makes the experience more personal for customers which greatly enhances their enjoyment of Chipotle and ensure customer loyalty.
  • Good prices: Chipotle’s pricing is fairly cheap which is impressive considering the freshness of the food and the personal service.

Chipotle’s Core Values

Chipotle aims to be sustainable, an excellent employer and a company which is committed to providing organic produce.

  • Sustainable: Chipotle committed to divert 50% of their waste from landfills in 2020 in an effort to reuse plastic and other materials within the business. Also, since 2018, the company started collecting used plastic gloves to turn them into waste bags which are used in almost half of the Chipotle restaurants.
  • Excellent employer: As has already been mentioned. Chipotle is well respected by its employees. Part of this is because they are given proper culinary training as well as great benefits and other career opportunities.
  • Committed to organic produce: Chipotle claims to be “One of the first national restaurant brands to commit to goals on local and organic produce.” And is also the first to commit to using only responsibly raised meat with some of the highest animal welfare standards. Chipotle also refuses to use any added hormones.