27 Interesting Facts About Chipotle That You Should Know

Chipotle

27 Interesting Facts About Chipotle That You Should Know

  1. Chipotle uses non-GMO ingredients.
  2. To start Chipotle, Ells borrowed $75,000 from his father.
  3. Chipotle needed to sell 114 burritos daily to break even but was selling over 1,000 a day by the end of the first month.
  4. In 1996, Ells’ parents helped raise $1.3 million for expansion, mainly from affluent friends.
  5. Chipotle’s signature dish is the burrito, which was introduced in 1995.
  6. Chipotle’s guacamole is made fresh daily.
  7. Chipotle has an annual Halloween Boorito promotion.
  8. Chipotle has a dedicated kids’ menu.
  1. Chipotle launched its trendy clothing line, Chipotle Goods, in 2020.
  2. Chipotle’s menu is customizable and can be tailored to a variety of dietary needs.
  3. Chipotle’s founder, Steve Ells, was inspired to start the chain while working as a chef in San Francisco.
  4. The company’s stock, under the ticker symbol CMG, has been traded on the NYSE since 2006.
  5. Chipotle’s signature bowls are creatively named after suggestions from dedicated employees.
  6. Chipotle uses 25 avocados to make a single batch of their guacamole.
  7. The company once experimented with adding tofu to their menu before introducing the popular sofritas tofu option.
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Table of Contents

1. Chipotle was founded in 1993 by Steve Ells in Denver, Colorado.

Chipotle Mexican Grill was founded by Steve Ells in 1993. The first location was a former Dolly Madison ice cream shop in Denver, Colorado.

Initially, Ells planned to start a fine-dining restaurant, but after experimenting with making burritos for friends, he decided to open a fast-casual Mexican restaurant instead.

The first Chipotle restaurant was a hit, and the chain quickly grew, with its focus on fresh ingredients and customizable meals appealing to customers.

2. The name Chipotle comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli, which means smoked chili pepper.

The name Chipotle comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli, which means smoked chili pepper. This name was chosen because smoked chili peppers are a key ingredient in many Mexican dishes, including the ones served at Chipotle.

The chain’s use of traditional Mexican flavors and ingredients has helped it to stand out in the fast-casual restaurant market, and the popularity of its food has made it a favorite among many diners.

3. The first Chipotle restaurant was located in a former Dolly Madison ice cream shop.

The first Chipotle restaurant was located in a former Dolly Madison ice cream shop in Denver, Colorado. The location was chosen because it was cheap to rent and had good foot traffic.

Despite its unassuming appearance, the restaurant quickly became popular, thanks in part to the quality of the food and the customizable menu options that allowed customers to create their burritos, tacos, and bowls.

4. Chipotle uses only 51 ingredients in its food, all free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

Chipotle
Chipotle: 51 natural ingredients, no artificial additives.

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Chipotle uses only 51 ingredients in its food, all free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This commitment to using high-quality, natural ingredients sets Chipotle apart from many other fast-casual restaurants, which often use pre-packaged or processed ingredients.

Chipotle’s emphasis on fresh, whole foods has helped it to build a reputation for healthy and flavorful cuisine.

5. Chipotle’s signature dish is the burrito, which was introduced in 1995.

Chipotle’s signature dish is the burrito, which was introduced in 1995. The burrito quickly became the most popular item on the menu, partly thanks to its large size and customizable ingredients.

Customers could choose from a wide range of proteins, toppings, and sauces to create a burrito that suited their tastes. Today, the burrito remains a staple of the Chipotle menu, alongside tacos, bowls, and salads.

6. The average Chipotle restaurant serves over 200 people per hour.

The average Chipotle restaurant serves over 200 people per hour, making it one of the busiest fast-casual chains in the United States.

This high volume of customers is due partly to Chipotle’s popularity and its efficient assembly line-style service, which allows for quick and customizable orders.

Despite the large crowds, Chipotle prides itself on its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and many customers return again and again for the food and the experience.

7. Chipotle is committed to using only meat from animals raised without antibiotics or added hormones.

Chipotle is committed to using only meat from animals raised without antibiotics or added hormones.

This commitment to sustainable and ethical farming practices has made Chipotle a leader in the fast-casual industry.

By sourcing its meat from responsible producers, Chipotle can offer high-quality, flavorful dishes that customers can enjoy.

8. Chipotle uses only dairy products from cows not treated with rBGH.

Chipotle uses only dairy products from cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This hormone is often given to dairy cows to increase milk production, but it has been linked to health problems in both cows and humans.

By sourcing its dairy products from cows that have not been treated with rBGH, Chipotle can offer its customers healthier and more sustainable options.

9. Chipotle’s food is made fresh on-site every day.

Chipotle
Chipotle makes fresh food daily on-site.

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Chipotle’s food is made fresh on-site every day, with many locations even preparing some of their ingredients in-house.

This commitment to freshness and quality is a key part of Chipotle’s success, as it allows the chain to offer flavorful and nutritious meals that customers can feel good about eating.

10. Chipotle’s website offers a nutrition calculator for customers to check meal calories and nutrient content.

Chipotle’s website features a nutrition calculator that allows customers to calculate their meals’ calories and nutrient content.

This tool is especially useful for those looking to make healthier choices or who have specific dietary needs, such as those monitoring their carbohydrate or sodium intake.

The calculator allows customers to choose the specific ingredients and toppings they want to include in their meal and provides a breakdown of each component’s calorie, fat, protein, carbohydrate, and sodium content and the total for the entire meal.

11. Chipotle has a secret menu with items like the Quesarito and the Burritodilla.

Chipotle has a secret menu with items not listed on the regular menu. Some of the most popular secret menu items include the Quesarito, a burrito with a quesadilla instead of a tortilla and the Burritodilla wrapped in a quesadilla.

These creative and customizable items have made Chipotle a favorite among foodies and fast-casual fans alike.

12. Chipotle has over 2,600 locations in the US, Canada, UK, France, and Germany.

Chipotle has more than 2,600 locations.

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Chipotle has over 2,600 locations worldwide in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, making it one of the largest fast-casual chains in the world.

Despite its size, Chipotle remains committed to its mission of providing high-quality, sustainably sourced food to its customers, and the chain continues to innovate and evolve its menu to meet changing consumer demands.

13. Chipotle has a music festival called Cultivate.

Chipotle has its own music and food festival called Cultivate, which features live music, food and drink from local chefs and brewers, and educational exhibits about sustainable farming and food culture.

The festival has been held in cities across the United States, including Chicago, Denver, and Miami, and it has become a popular event for food and music lovers alike.

14. Chipotle has a rewards program called Chipotle Rewards.

Chipotle has a rewards program, Chipotle Rewards, which allows customers to earn points for every dollar they spend.

Points can be redeemed for free food, drinks, and other rewards, and members also get access to exclusive offers and discounts. The program has been a hit with Chipotle fans and has helped build customer loyalty and increase sales.

15. Chipotle offers delivery through partnerships with companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats.

Chipotle offers delivery through partnerships with companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats, making it easier for customers to enjoy their favorite Chipotle meals from their homes.

The delivery service has been a major success, with many customers taking advantage of its convenience and flexibility.

16. Chipotle has a mobile app that allows customers to order and pay for their meals ahead of time.

Chipotle
Chipotle offers a mobile app for preordering and payment.

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Chipotle has a mobile app allows customers to order and pay for their meals ahead of time, streamlining the ordering process and reducing wait times.

The app also offers features like mobile ordering, loyalty rewards, and exclusive discounts, making it a favorite among Chipotle fans who want to save time and money.

17. Chipotle has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing.

Chipotle has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing by organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance, which certified the chain’s coffee and tea sustainably sourced.

Additionally, Chipotle has been a leader in sourcing humanely raised meats and using organic and locally sourced produce whenever possible. These efforts have helped to reduce the chain’s carbon footprint and promote more responsible and sustainable food production.

In recent years, Chipotle has faced challenges related to food safety, including outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus at several of its locations.

The chain has improved its food safety practices, including implementing new food handling procedures and working with third-party experts to identify and address potential risks.

19. Chipotle’s founder, Steve Ells, was inspired to start the chain while working as a chef in San Francisco.

Chipotle’s founder, Steve Ells, was inspired to start the chain while working as a chef in San Francisco in the 1990s. Ells envisioned a fast-casual restaurant that served high-quality, customizable meals made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

He opened the first Chipotle in Denver in 1993, and the chain quickly grew in popularity.

20. Chipotle has faced criticism for its labor practices.

a plate of food
Chipotle criticized for labor practices.

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Chipotle has faced criticism for its labor practices, including allegations of wage theft and unfair scheduling practices.

In response, the chain has implemented new policies to improve working conditions for its employees, including paid sick leave and tuition reimbursement programs.

21. Chipotle’s menu is customizable and can be tailored to various dietary needs.

Chipotle’s menu is highly customizable and can be tailored to various dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets.

The chain offers a wide range of fresh ingredients and toppings, allowing customers to create a meal that fits their individual preferences and dietary restrictions.

22. Chipotle’s Food with Integrity mission has been key to its brand identity.

Chipotle’s Food with Integrity mission emphasizes the chain’s commitment to sourcing high-quality, sustainably produced ingredients and has been a key part of its brand identity since the beginning.

This mission has helped set Chipotle apart from other fast-food chains and resonated with consumers looking for healthier, more sustainable options.

23. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Chipotle.

Like many other restaurants, Chipotle has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of its locations temporarily closing or reducing hours in response to local restrictions.

However, the chain has also been able to adapt quickly, offering delivery and takeout options to customers and implementing new safety measures to protect both customers and employees.

24. Chipotle has a strong social media presence.

Chipotle Mexican Grill building in partial darkness, inviting exploration of interesting facts about Chipotle.
Chipotle: Strong social media, good reputation.

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In 2024, many people like Chipotle on Instagram (1.2 million) and follow them on Twitter (2.2 million).

The chain uses social media to engage with customers, promote new menu items and promotions, and share behind-the-scenes glimpses of its operations.

25. In 2024, Chipotle is projected to generate $11 billion in revenue.

In 2024, Chipotle is projected to generate approximately $11 billion in revenue, with an expected EBITDA of around $1.54 billion.

This impressive performance follows Chipotle’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, where it exceeded $6 billion in annual revenue in 2020, showcasing its strong brand and loyal customer base.

26. Chipotle commits to reducing waste and increasing sustainability.

Chipotle commits to reducing waste and increasing sustainability, with initiatives such as its Herd Share program, which sources grass-fed beef from farmers who use regenerative farming practices.

The chain has pledged to use only compostable or recyclable packaging by 2025.

27. McDonald’s invested $50 million in Chipotle in 1998.

In 1998, McDonald’s recognized Chipotle’s potential and invested $50 million, becoming its largest investor by 2001 with a 90% stake. This partnership fueled Chipotle’s rapid expansion, leading to the opening of numerous new locations.

However, in 2006, Chipotle and McDonald’s parted ways due to differing visions and strategies, marking a significant turning point in Chipotle’s journey.

FAQS

Does Chipotle have an app?

Yes, Chipotle Mexican Grill has a mobile app that allows customers to order food for pickup or delivery, pay for their orders, and earn rewards points for future purchases. The app is free on iOS and Android devices and offers a range of features designed to make the ordering process as convenient and streamlined as possible.

What kind of food does Chipotle Mexican Grill serve?

Chipotle Mexican Grill serves various Mexican-inspired dishes, including burritos, tacos, bowls, and salads. Customers can choose from a range of proteins, such as chicken, steak, and tofu, as well as various toppings and sauces.

Where is Chipotle Mexican Grill located?

Chipotle Mexican Grill has over 2,500 locations worldwide, with a strong presence in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The chain has standalone restaurants and locations within shopping malls and other retail spaces.

Does Chipotle Mexican Grill offer catering?

Yes, Chipotle Mexican Grill offers catering services for events of all sizes. Customers can choose from various catering options, including build-your-own taco and burrito bars, salad bowls, and chips and salsa. Orders can be placed online or in person at a local Chipotle location.

Does Chipotle Mexican Grill offer vegetarian and vegan options?

Yes, Chipotle Mexican Grill offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, including sofritas (tofu) as a protein option and a range of vegetable toppings and sauces. The chain is also committed to using only non-GMO ingredients and sources many of them from local and sustainable farms.

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