After Eric STOLE my original idea to cover Starbucks, I decided to cover Chipotle. Chipotle is known as the birthplace of the fast-casual dining experience, providing a fast and casual (ha, imagine that) customer-minded service at higher quality than a typical fast-food chain, but without the sit-down atmosphere of other typical restaurants. One of the most impressive things, about Chipotle though, is its commitment to all-natural, healthy ingredients, its fair treatment of its suppliers and employees, and its commitment to using local, family-owned organic farms as its suppliers. 

First is Chipotle’s commitment to using only 100% naturally-raised pork, chicken and beef. Starting in 2001, Chipotle began using only pork raised in a natural way; free of hormones and antibiotics, free to roam in natural pastures, and raised in the most humanely way possible. Most pigs are raised in more of a factory setting, kept in cages and fed millions of pounds of antibiotics a year to combat the illnesses due to captivity in cramped, dirty quarters that lack natural sunlight, vegetation, and food. Chipotle, however, only buys pork from suppliers that allow pigs to roam in open pastures, which are fed 100% natural vegetarian diets, and which are allowed to live in a free, natural environment. In 2002 this was expanded to chicken, and now all of Chipotle’s meats and dairy products come from naturally-raised livestock.

Chipotle is also industry renowned for its fair treatment of both its suppliers and employees. It’s employees are trained extremely well, and Chipotle is also known for hiring of recent immigrant workers to provide them a fresh start. Meanwhile, supplier contracts are designed to be fair and honest, in the best interest of sustainable and ethical farming and ranching. They try to partner with local, family-owned farms whenever possible, and have been using increasing amounts of organic produce; for example, almost 50% of their beans are now organic. Local suppliers also allow for fresher food and less storage time in distribution centers.

In general, I think Chipotle is a prime example of a successful stakeholder-minded company. The company’s ethical stance of sustainable farming and ranching, humane treatment of animals, environmental responsibility, and fair treatment of its small farmers and immigrant workers is a statement to its commitment to serving the greater good within its communities, and has thus generated overwhelming international support and has become one of the most highly-valued companies in the country.

9 responses »

  1. Lindsey F. says:

    I agree that Chipotle is a great example of stakeholder theory- and has fantastic food! Using organic food and fresh meat seems difficult these days and I give Chipotle props for sticking with it- especially being a fast food company. I think it’s great that they try and use local, family-owned farms because those too seem to be rare lately. Overall, I think this is a great example and I know the business is doing well. Last time I was home, I tried to go to Chipotle and the two stores I tried had lines out the door. Clearly they’re doing well while sticking to what they believe in.

  2. Loukas T says:

    Chipotle is a lot like Starbucks in that it tries to provide a quality product and is less concerned with pricing itself competitively. When you can go get a burger from McDonalds for a dollar or a taco from Taco Bell for a dollar fifty, why go to Chipotle for a burrito that costs six to eight dollars? Chipotle has managed to provide this quality product that the consumers will pay a higher price for. This allows them to raise their cows and pigs in a much more humane way that allows the product to taste better. I have actually been underwhelmed with Chipotle when I went after hearing all the hype about it, but perhaps I should give it another shot.

  3. eric says:

    Sorry, haha, Starbucks just called me up and requested my attention that day…
    I couldn’t resist its powerful allure. Chipotle, I love it. Great food, good memories.

    I agree, the evidence you expressed, like organic ingredients and how they treat stakeholders, definitely evidence a stakeholder run company! CMG (their stock ticker) was hit a little while back due to Taco-Bell’s success in stealing away some customers, but I do hope they continue to be incredibly successful. I like their burritos.. a lot.

  4. wesmw says:

    I also think that Chipotle is a great company to work for. After reading Steph’s post on Toms and your post on Chipotle, I think that there is a reoccurring illusion that a company that is great to work for is also one that is heavily involved in the wider community it operates in. While I think that more often than not this is actually the case, I think we need to still realize that a company that gives back to the community is not always a great company to work for.

  5. Jordi says:

    Nice glare there.

    Like this one Michele Obama delivers is very good.

    That is a glare...

  6. Jordi says:

    How much does a typical meal at Chipotle compare to McDonald’s, Taco Hell, or Wendy’s? Or Panera?

    CMG is the stock symbol. They have done twice as well in last five years as S&P 500 and as McDonald’s…

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