Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Chipotle Supports Movie About Kids & Food

Chipotle is promoting another film about food (the last was Food, Inc.). This one is aimed at kids and is called What's On Your Plate?

The film is a witty and provocative documentary about kids and food politics that addresses many of the same ideas behind Chipotle's "Food with Integrity" philosophy and the importance of supporting local farms.
"It's amazing to see two young kids address the issue of where our food comes from in such an empowering way," said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer of Chipotle. "It's important for people, including kids, to understand issues related to the food they eat, and we believe this film will reach them in a way that is more informed and honest than is typical in how food is marketed to children."
Have a look at the trailer for the film:

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fast Food Halloween Treats

Taco Bell and Chipotle both have special offers for Halloween this year.

Taco Bell will be giving away their new Black Jack Tacos.

One free Black Jack Taco for every/anyone from 6 pm to Midnight on Halloween night. (Limit one per customer, while supplies last, etc, etc).

Chipotle is giving away a free burrito, tacos, bowl or salad to anyone who comes into a Chipotle dressed as a Chipotle burrito.

This promotion may not be at all locations, so call your local Chipotle for details, but the restaurants we've checked will be handing out Boo-ritos to the appropriately attired from 6 pm to close on Halloween night.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Chipotle's Kid's Menu

This is a great move by Chipotle... they've introduced a kid's menu.

Fast food kid's meals are nothing new... most of the fast food chains have them.  But many health-conscious parents will be thrilled to hear that they can now take their children to Chipotle for a healthier, more natural option with kid-sized portions.

I personally discovered the kid's menu at Chipotle when I saw the first guy on the production line at Chipotle cover one of the tortillas they use for burritos with cheese, fold it over and heat it on the tortilla grill-press.  This was something I'd never seen before... then I saw that the woman in line had some kids in tow and then I looked up and saw the "Kid's Menu" addition to the menu board.

Here's the kid's menu as it appears at a Chipotle I visited:

All Kid's Menu items served with kid's chips and a drink.
Kid's Drinks:  Juice, Organic Milk (plain or chocolate), Small soda.
  1. Small Cheese Quesadilla.  With a side of rice and beans.  $2.95.
  2. Small Meat & Cheese Quesadilla.  With a side of rice and beans.  $3.50.
  3. Single Taco.  Soft or crispy shell, and a choice of any three items (one meat or guacamole) and a side of rice.  $3.50.
  4. Taco Kit (they build it).  Choose any three ingredients (one meat or guacamole) and two soft or crispy shells.  Served on a tray for easy building.  $3.95.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chipotle iPhone App Now Available

Chipotle announced today that their iPhone app to locate, order from and pay a Chipotle is now available for the iPhone and iPod touch at Apple's App Store.

The mobile ordering app gives iPhone users the ability to create their favorite Chipotle order, place it at the Chipotle location of their choice and even pay for their food using the app.

“The breakthrough iPhone and iPod touch have really given us the ability to deliver a compelling experience to customers which includes simplicity, personality and attention to detail," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "We are changing the way the world thinks about and eats fast food, and the iPhone and iPod touch give us powerful new ways to engage and serve our customers. While we have always made our high quality food affordable and accessible so everyone can eat better, we've probably never been this accessible.”

Chipotle is also updating their online web ordering site (which we've written about previously).

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Breakfast at Chipotle?

This photo was just posted to Reddit:

Could it be true? We hope so.

We'll try and find out more and update this post.

Here's what we've found out...

The Chipotle menu board in the photo above is in Terminal B of Dulles Airport (Washington, DC).

You can read all about it at Dic Tailgate - A Virginia Tech Hokies Blog.

Basically, we've been informed that vendors in the terminals at Dulles must sell some form of breakfast. In order to comply and have a location there, Chipotle decided to experiment.

And evidently during Chipotle's last investor's call the possibility was left open to bring this concept to other locations!

As you can see on the menu board, there are 3 breakfast item choices:

Breakfast Tacos - "Three soft corn or flour tortillas with scrambled eggs, meat, salsa and cheese or sour cream."

Breakfast Burrito - "Flour tortilla with crispy herbed potatoes, black or pinto beans, scrambled eggs, meat, salsa and cheese or sour cream."

Breakfast Bowl - "Crispy herbed potatoes, black or pinto beans, scrambled eggs, meat, salsa and cheese or sour cream."

The 3 meat choices are Chorizo (naturally raised spicy pork sausage), Carnitas, or Barbacoa. The Chorizo being a new choice.

Three of the salsa remain the same, but the corn salsa is replaced with a spicy onion-jalapeno salsa.

We can just hope that this breakfast menu spreads to other, non-airport Chipotle locations soon!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Chipotle to Promote Film "Food, Inc."!

"Food, Inc." is one film that I certainly would never, ever have believed would be promoted in and by a fast food restaurant chain.

But I guess Chipotle isn't your typical fast food chain.  And I'm impressed.

Chipotle has entered into a partnership with the folks behind "Food, Inc." to promote it by sponsoring free screenings and putting promotional materials in all their restaurants. There are also plans for Chipotle to produced their own feature about their commitment to supporting sustainable agriculture, that will be put on the DVD when it is released later this year.

"Food, Inc." is now in theaters and you can watch the trailer below.

The film exposes America's industrialized food system and its effect on the environment, the economy and our overall health, and encourages Americans to become more conscious consumers. It is directed by Robert Kenner and features authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food).

“I hope that all our customers see this film,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “The more they know about where their food comes from, the more they will appreciate what we do.”

Chipotle has reason to be proud and less reason to be afraid of "Food, Inc." than any other food chain because Chipotle serves more naturally raised meat (from animals that are raised in a humane way, never given antibiotics or added hormones, and fed a pure vegetarian diet) than any restaurant in the world. In addition, an increasing percentage (currently 35 percent) of Chipotle’s beans are organically grown, it is purchasing locally grown produce when seasonally available, and all of the dairy the chain uses is made with milk from cows that are never given the synthetic hormone rBGH.

"Food, Inc." trailer:

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chipotle Grows Local Produce Program

Chipotle is expanding its local produce program this summer.  They will now purchase at least 35 percent of at least one bulk produce item in all of its restaurants from local farmers when it is seasonally available.  This is a 10% increase over last year and a first among fast food chains.

Under the program, Chipotle expects to have more than 25 local farms in its network.  They will supply some of the lettuce, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, red onions and/or oregano served in Chipotle restaurants.

“Our commitment to cooking and preparing food with more sustainable ingredients has always been about doing the right thing; the right thing for better tasting food, the right thing for the environment, and the right thing for farmers,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman, and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Many consumers are just now starting to understand where their food comes from and how it’s raised, but we have known for a long time that there are many benefits to food that is raised right.”


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chipotle's New Online Ordering

Chipotle now has new, enhanced online ordering for all their restaurants.  You can place your order at order.chipotle.com.

You can place specific orders for separate people.  There is an order summary at the bottom of the page after you add each person's 'bag' to the whole order.

There's also an expanded group ordering function that lets you place multi-item orders under a single group name and invite friends or co-workers (via e-mail) to add their single order to the group order.

There is a space for special instructions, too.  Which is good, because I didn't see a checkbox for pico de gallo for my burrito, so I added it to my 'special instructions.'

You can save your favorite orders, too.  So if you regularly order the same thing, it will be there with one click the next time you log in.

A screen grab of my most common order is below.

A note about logging in... be ready to come up with a password for your account that is 8 characters long, has at least 1 uppercase letter, at least 1 lowercase number and at least 1 number! A tad annoying, but great security!

All in all a great online ordering experience. And the burrito was great, as always.

Some words about the new system from Chipotle:

"This is another way we are making our high quality food available and affordable so everyone can eat better," says Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and CEO. "We can deliver a great Chipotle experience in a way that meets the demands of time-pressed customers."

"We asked our regular online users and our most tech-savvy customers how to best improve this system," Ells says. "This new version is faster, easier to use, and will enable us to add additional features and applications as new technology allows."

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Chipotle to Raise Prices

In reporting their 3rd quarter financial trends last week, Chipotle mentioned that they are "working on national pricing plans for the fourth quarter of 2008 to offset rapidly rising food costs."

Details of their new prices will be announced in October.

Chipotle Founder, Chairman and CEO Steve Ells: "Our preliminary view of the third quarter reflects a further deceleration in comparable restaurant sales combined with continued increases in food costs. We attribute current trends to the same macro-economic pressures that have affected other restaurant companies. Despite these short term challenges, we remain focused on delivering an extraordinary dining experience to each and every customer, by serving great tasting food made with the best ingredients we can find."

In other words, the economy is in bad shape, food prices are really high and people are spending less.

We can expect the same from other fast food restaurants soon if the economy doesn't improve.

Chipotle is hit harder by rising prices because they have a limited number of suppliers for the organic and local ingredients they use.

Even McDonald's is affected, though. Some of their stores have cut their Dollar Menu "Double Cheeseburger" back to one slice of cheese and renamed it the "Double Hamburger with Cheese.

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