Who Owns Chipotle? Chipotle Mexican Grill Information

Chipotle-mexican-grill-logoChipotle Mexican Grill – Establishment and Growth

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a popular fast food restaurant with multiple locations in the USA, Canada, France, the UK and Germany. The chain is mostly famous for its tacos and burritos. The restaurants are named after a Mexican Spanish term meaning dried and smoke chilli pepper.

The main priority of the company is to offer high quality and organic products. For this purpose the restaurants serve fresh vegetables and meat from naturally raised animals.

Who Owns Chipotle?

The company Jack in the Box owns Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. There have always been rumors that Chipotle is a property of McDonalds, but the truth is that since 2006 McDonalds has nothing to do with Chipotle Mexican Grill, because the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company was established in 1993 and today it has over 1500 restaurants in North America and some European countries.

Chipotle’s History and Development

Chipotle’s creator Steve Ells studied at the American Culinary Institute and after his graduated he started working for a famous restaurant in San Francisco where he got acquainted with burritos and taquerias. Ells used his experience and knowledge to open the first Chipotle location in Denver. His father lent him $85,000 to finance his enterprise. Upon opening the place, Steve and his father estimated that the restaurant had to sell 107 burritos every day to be cost-effective. A month later the location was selling more than 1000 burritos every day.

Ells established a second location in 1995 using the profits of the first one and later on a third restaurant appeared. In the following years Steve’s father supported his business and invested a total of $1.5 dollars. The finances were used for further growth and development of the company.

Then, Steve Ells developed a special business plan about the company and created a directors’ board. The first two locations outside of Colorado were established in 1999 in Ohio and Minnesota. The initial idea of Ells was to create a fancy dining place but he continued developing the chain because of the great success it has achieved so far.

The growth of Chipotle is partially based on the investments of McDonald’s in the company that started in 1998. Three years later MacDonald’s became the largest investor of Chipotle and the chain expanded quickly to more than 500 locations. In January 2006 the firm made its first initial public offering and became a public company. The price of the shares was doubled because of great demand. This action turned to be a great success as the stock rose 100% in the first day. The profits were once again used for new development and expansion.

McDonald’s stopped its investments in Chipotle in the autumn of 2006 and focused on the development of their own restaurants. It has been calculated that the total investments of McDonald’s in Chipotle amounted $360 million while the investor has received $1.5 billion.

Chipotle’s main competitors are Qdoba, Panchero’s Mexican Grill, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Baja Fresh, and Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill that also serve traditional Mexican meals. In 2009 Chipotle took the eighth position in the list of the fastest-growing chains and the company became third in 2010 due to its expansion. In 2011 Consumer Reports named Chipotle the best Mexican chain restaurant. The total daily amount of clients served in all locations reaches 750,000.

In 2010 the company adopted a new approach and hired a new chef named Nate Appleman. His main task was to create a new menu.

The same year the Minneapolis locations were audited by the immigration authorities. The audit showed that some of the workers had fraudulent documents. The outcome was that the company fired 450 employees – a measure that caused local protests. In 2011 the authorities audited 60 locations in Washington and Virginia, and another 40 workers were fired.

This has lead to a criminal investigation against the company to which Chipotle responded by hiring prominent lawyers. The company also refused to appoint a Mexican citizen and he instituted a suit claiming he has been discriminated.

In 2011 Ells participated in the popular TV show America’s Next Great Restaurant as a judge. He also was an investor of the firm that will finance the winner – ANGR Holdings. Chipotle engaged to financially support the actions of ANGR and to make investments amounting $2.3 million.

Chipotle opened its first pizza location in Denver in 2013. The project is developed together with Pizzeria Locale and the plan of the two companies is to create two more pizza restaurants in Denver and the region.