Steve Ells - Promoting 'Food with Integrity'

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN070
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2000-09
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
Industry : Fast Foods
Countries : US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"We have applauded Chipotle a number of times. That a company like Chipotle can have a successful business model while not supporting the abuses in the agribusiness industry is a positive sign. Companies ought to be rewarded for helping to reduce animal suffering."1

- Paul Shapiro, Senior Director of the 'Factory Farms Campaign' for the Humane Society of the United States2, in July 2008.

"[Chipotle] is one of the best examples in the marketplace of a business with deeper values, deeper meaning, and ultimately deeper connections with their customer base, without being pretentious, boring, or finger pointing. Any business that can define a purpose bigger than their product will outperform businesses that are just selling product." 3

- Mats Lederhausen, Director, Chipotle Mexican Grill, in September 2006.

"We've done things differently since the beginning and I think we've proved that if you can create an experience and deliver food that is beyond the expectations of the customers, they will come and they will come often and they will be loyal and passionate about your restaurant. I think that's exciting."4

- Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc, in January 2003.

Steve Ells - Promoting 'Food with Integrity' - Next Page>>

1] "Chipotle Commits to Serving More Than 50 Million Pounds of Naturally Raised Meat in 2008,", January 07, 2008.
2] The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a US-based animal protection organization. It was established in 1954 (Source:
3] Marc Gunther, "Can Fast Food Be 'Good' Food,", September 13, 2006.
4] Bret Thorn, "Steve Ells: 'Wrong' Approach to Quick Service Works Out Right for Chipotle Mexican Grill Founder," http//, January 27, 2003.


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