The Evolution of Chipotle

Jessica Jahja, Contributor

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Steve Ells, who was the founder of the fast-food restaurant, Chipotle, is now the chairman and co-CEO. Growing up in Colorado, Ells went to the University of Colorado but after that enrolled into the Culinary Institute of America. Using his knowledge from attending that school, Ells decided to move to San Francisco working as a sous chef in a restaurant. When Ells ate at a mexican restaurant in San Francisco, he was inspired by how they used large quesadillas in order to include all of the ingredients a customer wanted. Ells took this idea and also a $85,000 loan from his father to open up his first Chipotle restaurant in 1993. Ells originally had planned of using the profits from his Chipotle restaurant to open up his own fine-dining restaurant, but after realizing how successful his restaurant was in Colorado, Ells opened up another one in 1995 using the profits from his first Chipotle restaurant. The next year, Ells opened another Chipotle restaurant using his father’s money. Now that he had three very successful restaurants in Colorado, McDonalds invested millions of dollars in 1998 in order to help Chipotle expand and grow rapidly into other areas. With the help of McDonalds being an investor, Chipotle was able to officially go in public in 2006. Ell’s dream truly came true and even went beyond what he expected since during his first restaurant, Ell only wanted to sell 107 burritos per day but actually sold a thousand burritos per day and today has over 2,000 Chipotle restaurants worldwide. But even though Ell’s dreams has came true he faced into a problem in 2015 of Chipotle restaurants closing down because of  E.coli being detected in their food. This issue caused Chipotle to start losing profits and also facing other minor problems. Even with these problems, Chipotle is still very popular and has made over $826 million in revenue today.

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