Corporate Profile

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Steve Ells, founder and executive chairman, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in an interactive style allowing people to get exactly what they want. Chipotle seeks out extraordinary ingredients that are not only fresh, but that are raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, land, and people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using real, wholesome ingredients, without the use of added colors, flavors or other additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,400 restaurants. For more information, visit chipotle.com.

We try to do a few things really well. We elevate basic raw ingredients into food that's richer and more sophisticated through our recipes and cooking techniques. Similarly, our restaurant design transforms simple materials in distinctive ways, giving our restaurants a style that's more architectural in nature.

Our focus has always been on using the kinds of higher-quality ingredients and cooking techniques used in high-end restaurants to make great food accessible at reasonable prices. But our vision has evolved. While using a variety of fresh ingredients remains the foundation of our menu, we believe that "fresh is not enough, anymore." Now we want to know where all of our ingredients come from, so that we can be sure they are as flavorful as possible while understanding the environmental and societal impact of our business. We call this idea Food With Integrity, and it guides how we run our business.
  • Using higher-quality ingredients. We use a variety of ingredients that we purchase from carefully selected suppliers. We concentrate on where we obtain each ingredient, and this has become a cornerstone of our continuous effort to improve our food. Some of the ingredients we use include naturally raised pork, beef and chicken, as well as organically grown and sustainably grown produce, and we continue to investigate using even more naturally raised, organically grown and sustainably grown ingredients, in light of pricing considerations.
  • A few things, thousands of ways. We only serve a few things: burritos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla), tacos and salads. We plan to keep a simple menu, but we'll always consider sensible additions. For example, we introduced the burrito bowl in 2003—just when the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets exploded—and estimate that we sold about seven million of them in that year. In 2005, we also rolled out a salad.