Chipotle announces enhancements to its employee benefits

More than 71,000 hourly and salaried employees will receive a new suite of benefits as a result of changes in U.S. tax law
DENVER, 2018-Feb-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — In celebration of its dedicated employees, Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) announced enhancements to benefits that will reach all of its 71,000 employees. These enhancements, which include special cash and stock bonuses and enhanced paid parental leave, are part of the company’s ongoing commitment to advancing both the professional and personal lives of its employees. Resulting from savings due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the new benefits have already begun rolling out to Chipotle employees.

“We have always been proud of our ability to attract and retain top talent who share our passion for cooking delicious food by hand and creating an extraordinary guest experience,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle. “We’re giving back to these committed, motivated, and hardworking team members who have made Chipotle what it is today.”

Chipotle will reinvest more than one-third of its anticipated savings from tax law changes into its employees. The remainder of the reinvestment will be dedicated to improvement of restaurant facilities and operations. New employee benefits include:

  • Accelerated Training Programs. More training programs for employees, including a formalized classroom program with a dedicated faculty that will focus on a range of topics related to operational excellence and leadership.
  • Cash & Stock Bonuses. Qualified hourly and salaried restaurant employees will receive a special one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000. Qualified staff employees will receive a one-time stock grant.
  • Maternity/Paternity Coverage. Additional paid parental leave coverage for everyone from hourly managers to salaried employees.
  • Life Insurance and Short-Term Disability. The company has added life insurance and short-term disability insurance coverage for hourly restaurant managers.

These new offerings are in addition to a unique set of benefits the company already offers to employees, including both hourly and salaried workers. Chipotle currently provides twice annual merit increases for hourly employees, paid vacation and sick time, and stock awards to the restaurant manager level. Additionally, the company has made a significant investment in educational benefits for employees. Chipotle offers up to $5,250 in tuition reimbursement, and through a partnership with Guild Education, the company offers reduced-cost courses and degree programs at a number of colleges and universities. The educational program includes more than 10,000 class and program options and since the inception of the program, nearly 6,000 Chipotle employees have taken advantage of the program.

“We have always been committed to making Chipotle a great place to work with excellent compensation and benefits,” said Ells. “With these expanded offerings, we’re thanking our employees for their hard work and dedication to our company.”

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, our founder, chairman and CEO, 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 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, the land, and the people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using real, wholesome ingredients and 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 operates more than 2,400 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

SOURCE Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chris Arnold, carnold@chipotle.com

Chipotle Board forms search committee for new CEO

Current Chairman, CEO and Founder Steve Ells to Become Executive Chairman with Primary Focus on Innovation Upon Completion of Search

DENVER, 2017-Dec-01 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today (Nov. 29, 2017) announced that Steve Ells, chairman and CEO – and the founder of the company in 1993 – will become executive chairman following the completion of a search to identify a new CEO. The Board has formed a search committee comprised of Directors Robin Hickenlooper and Ali Namvar, as well as Ells, to identify a new leader with demonstrated turnaround expertise to help address the challenges facing the company, improve execution, build customer trust, and drive sales.

“I am incredibly proud of Chipotle and our people – and grateful to our loyal customers – and while we are continuing to make progress, it is clear that we need to move faster to make improvements,” said Ells. “Simply put, we need to execute better to ensure our future success. The Board and I are committed to bringing in an experienced leader with a passion for driving excellence across every aspect of our business, including the customer experience, operations, marketing, technology, food safety, and training.”

Added Ells, “Bringing in a new CEO is the right thing to do for all our stakeholders. It will allow me to focus on my strengths, which include bringing innovation to the way we source and prepare our food. It will ultimately improve our ability to provide our guests with delicious food that is prepared with high quality ingredients that are raised responsibly and served in a way that is accessible to everyone. I am confident that this will allow us to deliver value for our shareholders, and provide rewarding opportunities for our employees. Chipotle has vast unrealized potential. As we work hard to restore our brand, I believe we can capitalize on opportunities, including in areas such as the digital experience, menu innovation, delivery, catering, and domestic and international expansion, to deliver significant growth.”

Chipotle lead independent director Neil W. Flanzraich said, “Steve is a visionary leader and one of the most successful restaurateurs in history, having grown Chipotle from a single restaurant in Colorado to more than 2,350 restaurants today. Steve made the decision, and the Board agreed, that now is the right time to identify a new CEO who can reinvigorate the brand and help the company achieve its potential. We are committed to recruiting a world-class CEO for this incredible opportunity.”

The Board has retained the services of leading executive recruitment firm Spencer Stuart to assist in the search for a new CEO.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, 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, whole ingredients, and is the only national restaurant brand that prepares its food using no added colors, flavors or other industrial additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,350 restaurants. For more information, visit chipotle.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the CEO search, future plans for Chipotle, and expressions of confidence in Chipotle’s future, are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We use words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “continue”, “should”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “predict”, “project”, “target”, and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions, to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date any such statements are made and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: risks associated with management transitions, including potential difficulties in implementing new strategies and tactics developed by a new leadership team, and possible disruptions in the event of further changes in the management team; the uncertainty of our ability to achieve expected levels of comparable restaurant sales due to factors such as changes in consumers’ perceptions of our brand, including as a result of food-borne illness incidents, the impact of competition, including from sources outside the restaurant industry, decreased overall consumer spending, or our possible inability to increase menu prices or realize the benefits of menu price increases; the risk of food-borne illnesses and other health concerns about our food or dining out generally; factors that could affect our ability to achieve and manage our planned expansion, such as the availability of a sufficient number of suitable new restaurant sites and our ability to identify, hire and train qualified employees to operate restaurants to our high standards; the performance of new restaurants and their impact on existing restaurant sales; increases in the cost of food ingredients and other key supplies or higher food costs due to changes in supply chain protocols; the potential for increased labor costs or difficulty retaining qualified employees, including as a result of market pressures, enhanced food safety procedures in our restaurants, or new regulatory requirements; risks related to our marketing and advertising strategies, which may not be successful and may expose us to liabilities; security risks associated with the acceptance of electronic payment cards or electronic storage and processing of confidential customer or employee information; risks relating to our expansion into new markets; the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to our employees, our restaurant design, or the sale of food or alcoholic beverages; risks associated with our Food With Integrity philosophy, including supply shortages and potential liabilities from advertising claims and other marketing activities related to Food With Integrity; risks relating to litigation, including possible governmental actions related to food-borne illness incidents, as well as class action litigation regarding employment laws, advertising claims or other matters; risks relating to our insurance coverage and self-insurance; our dependence on key personnel; risks regarding our ability to protect our brand and reputation; risks associated with our ability to effectively manage our growth; and other risk factors described from time to time in our SEC reports, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, all of which are available on the investor relations page of our website at ir.chipotle.com.

Media Contact:
Chris Arnold
303.222.5912
Carnold@Chipotle.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Mark Alexee
303-605-1042
Malexee@Chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle expands its educational benefits program with new degree at University of Denver

  • Chipotle to offer educational assistance to employees who pursue a Bachelor of Arts at DU
  • Initial data shows 89 percent of student-employees stay with Chipotle after enrolling in tuition assistance programs; student-employees also see greater likelihood of promotion

DENVER, 2017-Aug-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has added University of Denver (DU) to the universe of colleges and universities that employees have access to through a Chipotle partnership with Guild Education. Through the partnership, Chipotle employees can earn a degree through DU’s Bachelor of Arts completion program in its University College. The partnership with DU adds to existing educational benefits the company already provides its employees, including up to $5,250 in tuition reimbursement, and a discounted tuition program through Guild that offers reduced cost courses and degree programs at a number of colleges and universities.

Since expanding its education offerings in 2015 to include hourly workers as well as salaried employees, Chipotle has seen better than expected participation, improved retention, and higher promotion rates among participating employees. Since expanding the program, Chipotle has provided assistance to nearly 3,500 employees. The company’s education programs currently offer more than 2,000 class and program options to employees. The addition of the new degree program through DU’s University College offers a return to Chipotle’s roots of sorts, given that the first Chipotle restaurant is located just steps from DU’s main campus.

“Our goal in offering really strong educational benefits to our employees is to help prepare them for long-term and fulfilling careers,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle. “A year into the program, we are hearing tremendous feedback from our employees, and seeing strong results in terms of enrollment, retention, and internal promotions among employees who are participating in the program.”

To help expand its educational benefits program, including the new degree at DU, Chipotle partnered with Guild Education and Guild’s network of non-profit colleges. Data from Guild Education shows that Chipotle’s restaurant employees enrolled in its programs who go back to school are twice as likely to be promoted at Chipotle, as compared to their peers. Restaurant employees enrolled in an education program with Guild are also nearly twice as likely to stay at Chipotle — 89 percent of employees who enrolled stayed with the company for the following nine months.

A Career with Purpose

Carlos Grajeda, a service manager at Chipotle in Denver, was one of the first employees to take advantage of continuing education benefits through Guild. After struggling to complete college twice, Grajeda began working at Chipotle and soon after learned about Chipotle’s education benefits.

“Chipotle offered me an affordable way to go back to school, and I’m beyond grateful,” Grajeda said. “I worked with Guild to complete a management training program and earn some college credits, and then I decided to take the next step and enroll in a degree program at Colorado State University-Global Campus. My life has been filled with more purpose and direction than ever before.”

“Chipotle team members are not only hard-working employees – they are also dedicated learners on the path to an entirely new form of the American apprenticeship,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO and co-founder of Guild Education. “Companies like Chipotle are leading on new and innovative solutions to support and retain great employees like Carlos.”

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, 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, whole ingredients, and is the only national restaurant brand that prepares its food using no added colors, flavors or other industrial additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,300 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com

ABOUT GUILD EDUCATION

Guild Education helps employers offer Education as a Benefit to their employees. Guild’s technology makes offering education benefits and tuition reimbursement an easy choice for leading companies, with a platform that helps HR leaders turn their education cost centers into a positive ROI. Guild’s diverse network of online, nonprofit universities, including the University of Denver, offers a range of programs from GEDs through bachelor’s and master’s degrees, along with advising and retention coaching to help each student navigate the worlds of work and college. To learn more about Guild, visit www.GuildEducation.com/for_companies.

Contact:
Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill appoints Laurie Schalow as chief communications officer

Schalow brings more than 20 years of integrated communications experience to Chipotle executive team

DENVER, 2017-Aug-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has hired Laurie Schalow as chief communications officer, a newly created position that will oversee all facets of Chipotle’s internal and external communications functions. Schalow comes to Chipotle from YUM! Brands where she held a variety of positions in communications, most recently serving as vice president of public affairs.

“We have been actively working to strengthen our leadership team to better prepare Chipotle for continued growth and success,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle. “Laurie is an extremely talented executive, and I am confident that her broad expertise will help to strengthen our communications and better integrate all of our internal and external communications functions to amplify our messages.”

In her time at YUM!, Schalow held a variety of public affairs and communications roles in such areas as internal and external communications, crisis and issues management, corporate social responsibility, social listening, community outreach and employee relations. In her most recent position, she was responsible for building the brand reputations of more than 44,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in 140 countries.

“Chipotle is a great brand and I have been a longtime admirer of the company and its mission,” said Schalow. “There is considerable opportunity ahead for Chipotle, and I am thrilled to join the company to help shape and strengthen its strategic communications in support of a very important vision to make great tasting food, made with real, whole ingredients available to everyone.”

Schalow’s appointment is part of a broader, ongoing effort from Chipotle to strengthen its leadership. The company added four new directors to its board in late 2016, and named its first ever chief restaurant officer in May 2017.

Schalow holds bachelor’s degrees from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and a master’s degree from Wayne State University, Detroit. In her new position, Schalow will work from the company’s Denver headquarters and report directly to Ells.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, 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 only real, whole ingredients, and is the only national restaurant brand that uses absolutely no added colors, flavors or other industrial additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,300 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:
Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. to host 2Q 2017 financial results conference call on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

DENVER, 2017-Jul-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) today (June 28, 2017) announced that it will host a conference call to discuss second quarter 2017 financial results on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 4:30 PM Eastern time. A press release with second quarter 2017 financial results will be issued at approximately 4:10 PM Eastern time that same day.

The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing 1-877-451-6152 or for international callers by dialing 1-201-389-0879. The call will also be webcast live from the Company’s website on the investor relations page at ir.chipotle.com. An archived webcast will be available approximately one hour after the end of the call.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, 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, whole ingredients, and is the only national restaurant brand that prepares its food using no added colors, flavors or other industrial additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,300 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.
SOURCE: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Contact:

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
Mark Alexee
303-605-1042
malexee@chipotle.com

Chipotle Mexican Grill appoints Scott Boatwright as chief restaurant officer

Boatwright brings nearly 20 years of restaurant operations experience to Chipotle executive team

DENVER, 2017-May-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) announced that it has hired Scott Boatwright as chief restaurant officer, a position where he will work with the company’s senior restaurant leadership team to oversee restaurant operations for Chipotle’s nearly 2,300 North American restaurants. Boatwright comes to Chipotle from Arby’s Restaurant Group, where he served as senior vice president of operations. He joins Chipotle effective May 30.

“Continuing to focus on providing the very best guest experience is one of our top priorities,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle. “Scott’s proven accomplishments elevating the guest experience will help us accelerate the momentum we have seen so far in 2017.”

Boatwright began his career at Arby’s in 1997 and held a variety of leadership and executive positions during his tenure with the company. Most recently, as senior vice president for Arby’s, he was responsible for the success and performance of nearly 2,000 franchised and company-owned restaurants across 22 states. Specifically, he was responsible for operational standards, building and developing teams, delivering an excellent guest experience, and strategic planning to support the company’s overall annual operating plan.

“Chipotle is a remarkable brand and one that has redefined what a fast food experience can be,” said Boatwright. “The company has reshaped the category and paved the way for a new generation of restaurants. I’m thrilled to join Chipotle at a time when there is considerable opportunity ahead to impact food culture and improve the way people eat.”

In his new position at Chipotle, Boatwright will work closely with Chipotle restaurant support officers Gretchen Selfridge and Mike Duffy to oversee restaurant operations, including enhancing the guest experience, developing and leading field leadership teams, developing strong teams inside the restaurants, and enhancing operational efficiency.

Boatwright holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

With his new role at Chipotle, Boatwright will work from the company’s Denver headquarters and will report directly to Ells.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, 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 only real, whole ingredients, and is the only national restaurant brand that uses absolutely no added colors, flavors or other industrial additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,300 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

SOURCE: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Contact

Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Chipotle Off To A Good Start With First Quarter 2017 Results

DENVER, 2017-Apr-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) today (Apr. 25, 2017) reported financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2017.

Overview for the first quarter of 2017 as compared to the first quarter of 2016:

  • Revenue increased 28.1% to $1.07 billion
  • Comparable restaurant sales increased 17.8% (including 0.6% from recognized revenue previously deferred related to Chiptopia)
  • Restaurant level operating margin increased to 17.7% from 6.8%
  • Net income was $46.1 million, improved from a net loss of $26.4 million
  • Diluted earnings per share was $1.60, improved from a diluted net loss per share of $0.88
  • Opened 57 new restaurants

“2017 is off to a strong start, as our restaurant managers and teams are energized by our renewed focus on the customer,” said Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chipotle. “By simplifying the focus in our restaurants to only those elements that lead to a great guest experience, our operations have improved every single month, which gives us confidence that we are on our way to achieve our mission to ensure that great food made with whole unprocessed ingredients is accessible to everyone.”

First quarter 2017 results

Revenue for the quarter was $1.07 billion, up 28.1% from the first quarter of 2016. The increase in revenue was driven by comparable restaurant sales increases and to a lesser extent by new restaurant openings. Comparable restaurant sales increased due to improved customer traffic, reduced promotional activity, and increased average check. Comparable restaurant sales increased 17.8%, which included a benefit of 0.6% due to previously deferred revenue related to Chiptopia recognized during the quarter. We opened 57 new restaurants during the quarter and closed 15 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants and one Chipotle restaurant. Our total restaurant count as of the end of the quarter was 2,291.

Food costs were 33.8% of revenue, a decrease of 150 basis points compared to the first quarter of 2016. The decrease was primarily driven by lower food waste and testing costs, and bringing the preparation of lettuce and bell peppers back to our restaurants. This decrease was partially offset by higher avocado prices.

Restaurant level operating margin was 17.7% in the quarter, an increase from 6.8% in the first quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily driven by sales leverage, lower marketing and promotional spend, efficiencies in labor, and lower food costs. The restaurant level operating margin also benefited by 0.15% from sales leverage related to recognizing revenue previously deferred from Chiptopia, slightly offset by free catering discounts for Chiptopia.

General and administrative expenses were 6.5% of revenue for the first quarter of 2017, a decrease of 90 basis points from the first quarter of 2016. In dollar terms, general and administrative expenses increased $7.4 million compared to the first quarter of 2016 due to increased non-cash stock based compensation and bonus expense, partially offset by lower legal and travel costs. Excluding stock based compensation, general and administrative expenses during the quarter were flat in dollar terms compared to last year. Stock compensation expense was higher during the first quarter of 2017 because the first quarter of 2016 included a reduction in expense for performance awards that were no longer expected to vest against performance criteria. Without this reduction, stock compensation expense was consistent in both years.

Net income for the first quarter of 2017 was $46.1 million, or $1.60 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $26.4 million, or a loss of $0.88 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2016.

Outlook

For the full year of 2017, management is targeting the following:

  • Comparable restaurant sales increases in the high-single digits
  • 195 – 210 new restaurant openings
  • An estimated effective full year tax rate of approximately 39.0%

Definitions

The following definitions apply to these terms as used throughout this release:

Comparable restaurant sales, or sales comps, represent the change in period-over-period sales for restaurants in operation for at least 13 full calendar months.

Comparable restaurant transactions represent the change in period-over-period transactions, including transactions with no sales dollars due to promotional discounts, for restaurants in operation for at least 13 full calendar months.

Restaurant level operating margin represents total revenue less restaurant operating costs, expressed as a percent of total revenue.

Conference Call

Chipotle will host a conference call to discuss the first quarter 2017 financial results on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 4:30 PM Eastern time.

The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing 1-877-451-6152 or for international callers by dialing 1-201-389-0879. The call will be webcast live from the company’s website on the investor relations page at ir.chipotle.com. An archived webcast will be available approximately one hour after the end of the call.

About Chipotle

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO, 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, the land, and the people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food without the use of added colors, flavors or preservatives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and operates more than 2,300 restaurants. For more information, visit chipotle.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release, including statements under the heading “Outlook” of our expected comparable restaurant sales increases, number of new restaurant openings, and effective tax rate for 2017 are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We use words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “continue,” “should,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions, to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date any such statements are made and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the uncertainty of our ability to achieve expected levels of comparable restaurant sales due to factors such as changes in consumers’ perceptions of our brand, including as a result of food-borne illness incidents beginning in late 2015, the impact of competition, including from sources outside the restaurant industry, decreased overall consumer spending, or our possible inability to increase menu prices or realize the benefits of menu price increases; the risk of food-borne illnesses and other health concerns about our food or dining out generally; factors that could affect our ability to achieve and manage our planned expansion, such as the availability of a sufficient number of suitable new restaurant sites and the availability of qualified employees; the performance of new restaurants and their impact on existing restaurant sales; increases in the cost of food ingredients and other key supplies or higher food costs due to new supply chain protocols; the potential for increased labor costs or difficulty retaining qualified employees, including as a result of market pressures, enhanced food safety procedures in our restaurants, or new regulatory requirements; risks related to our marketing and advertising strategies, which may not be successful and may expose us to liabilities; security risks associated with the acceptance of electronic payment cards or electronic storage and processing of confidential customer or employee information; risks relating to our expansion into new markets; the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to our employees, our restaurant design, or the sale of food or alcoholic beverages; risks associated with our Food With Integrity philosophy, including supply shortages and potential liabilities from advertising claims and other marketing activities related to Food With Integrity; risks relating to litigation, including possible governmental actions related to food-borne illness incidents, as well as class action litigation regarding employment laws, advertising claims or other matters; risks relating to our insurance coverage and self-insurance; our dependence on key personnel and uncertainties arising from recent changes in our leadership; risks regarding our ability to protect our brand and reputation; risks associated with our ability to effectively manage our growth; and other risk factors described from time to time in our SEC reports, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, all of which are available on the investor relations page of our website at ir.chipotle.com.

Contact:
Mark Alexee
303-605-1042
malexee@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Chipotle becomes the only national restaurant brand to eliminate unnecessary additives and preservatives in its food

Multi-Year Quest to Develop Better Tasting, Preservative-Free Tortilla Complete; Company’s Food Now Includes Only 51 Real, Delicious Ingredients

DENVER, 2017-Mar-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) announced that it has become the only national restaurant brand with no added colors, flavors or preservatives in any of the ingredients it uses to prepare its food (except for lemon and lime juices which can be used as preservatives, though Chipotle uses them only for taste). This applies to all Chipotle restaurants in the United States and does not include beverages. The accomplishment furthers the company’s mission to make better food accessible to everyone. Details about each of the company’s ingredients can be seen at http://www.chipotle.com/real.

Two years ago, the company began working to eliminate unnecessary additives and preservatives from the tortillas it uses to make burritos, tacos and chips. The new tortillas are now served in all the company’s U.S. restaurants, and were tested extensively in Chipotle restaurants around the country beginning in January. The new recipes for corn and flour tortillas now contain between two and five ingredients. For example, the new flour tortillas are made using only flour, water, canola oil, salt and yeast. The corn tortillas used for the chips are made only with corn masa flour and water.

“We have always used high quality ingredients and prepared them using classic cooking techniques,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle Founder, Chairman and CEO. “We never resorted to using added colors or flavors like many other fast food companies do simply because these industrial additives often interfere with the taste of the food. However, commercially available tortillas, whether they are for us or someone else, use dough conditioners and preservatives. I’ve been on a quest for a better tasting tortilla for years, and we finally achieved a tortilla made the way you would make them at home, and they are simply delicious. Ultimately, all of the decisions we make about the ingredients we use are about making the very best tasting food we can.”

Chipotle has long been a pioneer in serving better quality ingredients. This includes the use of local and organically grown produce when available and practical, dairy from cows raised on pasture and meats from animals raised without hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics. Additionally, none of the ingredients used in Chipotle’s food have been genetically modified. With the introduction of its new tortillas, the company now touts only 51 real ingredients used to prepare all of its food. This is in stark contrast to most other fast food chains where a single menu item can contain 40 or more ingredients — many of which are added flavors, colors, preservatives and other industrial additives.

“When helping people find ways to eat well, I always encourage them to look for food made with simple ingredients, and without unnecessary additives. Even the word ‘natural,’ when it comes to additives, can be misleading because there are added colors and added flavors that can be labeled as ‘natural,’” said Ellie Krieger, RD, Nutritionist, Chef, and host of the public television show, “Ellie’s Real Good Food.” “And when I go out to eat, I seek out restaurants that use the same real, high-quality ingredients I use in my own kitchen. That’s why I absolutely love what Chipotle is doing here.”

Chipotle’s accomplishment comes at a time when other fast food brands are scrambling to clean up their ingredient statements as consumers turn away from processed foods and foods with added colors, flavors, preservatives and other industrial additives. But nearly every fast food chain has chosen the easier path of simply switching from artificial flavors and colors to “natural” versions of additives that serve the same purpose. Some fast food companies have gone so far as to designate the preservatives they use as “natural” even though nearly all preservatives identified in FDA rules are known as “chemical preservatives.”

Evidence of how confusing the distinction between artificial and natural additives can be is illustrated by looking at the ingredient statement from what is arguably fast food’s most popular offering: the French fry. Typical fast food French fries contain several ingredients including “natural beef flavor.” Even though it contains no beef, the “natural” beef designation can be used simply because the chemical is derived from plant material.

“Rather than switching from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives to ‘natural’ alternatives of the same additives, fast food companies should be asking why their food needs added colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives in the first place,” said Mark Crumpacker, Chief Marketing and Development Officer for Chipotle. “Because we prepare our fresh food using classic cooking techniques, we avoid using the industrial additives typically associated with fast food — but most importantly, that approach is the reason our food is so delicious.”

The company also released a “visual ingredient statement” which visually depicts the ingredients in each of its menu items. The visual ingredient statement can be seen at http://www.chipotle.com/ingredients.

Chipotle defines “national restaurant brand” as any restaurant brand included in the Nation’s Restaurant News top 200 list (August 2016) having more than 100 total U.S. locations. The company’s statements that it uses no added colors, flavors or preservatives apply only to Chipotle branded restaurants operating within the U.S., and only to the ingredients used to prepare food and not to ingredients used in the beverages sold at Chipotle.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO, 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 the finest 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 without the use of added colors, flavors or preservatives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,200 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:
Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. releases financial results for its 4Q and year ended December 31, 2016

DENVER, 2017-Feb-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) today (Feb. 2, 2017) reported financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2016.

Overview for the fourth quarter of 2016 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2015:

  • Revenue increased 3.7% to $1.0 billion
  • Comparable restaurant sales for the month of December increased 14.7% and declined 4.8% for the full quarter
  • Restaurant level operating margin was 13.5%, a decrease from 19.6%
  • Net income was $16.0 million, a decrease from $67.9 million
  • Diluted earnings per share was $0.55, a decrease from $2.17
  • Opened 72 new restaurants

Overview for the year ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the prior year:

  • Revenue decreased 13.3% to $3.9 billion
  • Comparable restaurant sales decreased 20.4%
  • Restaurant level operating margin was 12.8%, a decrease from 26.1%
  • Net income was $22.9 million, a decrease from net income of $475.6 million
  • Diluted earnings per share was $0.77, a decrease from $15.10
  • Opened 240 new restaurants, net of 3 relocations or closures

“We are energized and focused to achieve our goals in 2017, and to return to a path of long-term value creation for our shareholders,” said Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chipotle. “Returning to our roots of what originally made Chipotle great has helped refocus all of our strategies toward the guest experience. In the upcoming year we intend to continue to simplify and improve our restaurant operations, utilize creative marketing to rebuild our brand, and further the roll-out of our digital sales efforts. All three of these strategic initiatives are centered on improving the guest experience and restoring customer affinity for the Chipotle brand, and we are confident in our teams’ abilities as we start this new year.”

Fourth quarter 2016 results

Revenue for the quarter was $1.0 billion, up 3.7% from the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase in revenue was driven by new restaurant openings, partially offset by a 4.8% decrease in comparable restaurant sales. Comparable restaurant sales declined primarily as a result of a decrease in the number of transactions in our restaurants, and to a lesser extent from a decline in average check. Comparable restaurant sales decreased 20.2% and 1.4% in October and November 2016, and increased 14.7% in December 2016. Comparable restaurant sales benefitted from easier comparisons due to lower sales levels in November and December 2015. We opened 72 new restaurants during the quarter, bringing the total restaurant count to 2,250.

Food costs were 35.3% of revenue, an increase of 150 basis points compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase was driven by higher avocado prices and increased expense for pre-diced tomatoes, partially offset by relief in beef prices.

Restaurant level operating margin was 13.5% in the quarter, a decrease from 19.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The decrease was driven primarily by increased marketing and promotional spend, sales deleveraging and higher food costs.

General and administrative expenses were 6.3% of revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 160 basis points over the fourth quarter of 2015. In dollar terms, general and administrative expenses increased compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 due to increased stock based compensation and legal expenses, partially offset by lower bonus expense.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $16.0 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, compared to net income of $67.9 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Full year ended December 31, 2016 results

Revenue for the full year 2016 was $3.9 billion, down 13.3% from the prior year. The decrease in revenue was driven by a 20.4% decrease in comparable restaurant sales, partially offset by revenue from new restaurants. Comparable restaurant sales declined primarily as a result of a decrease in the number of transactions in our restaurants, and to a lesser extent from a decline in average check.

We opened 240 new restaurants during the full year 2016, net of 3 relocations or closures, bringing the total restaurant count to 2,250.

Food costs were 35.0% of revenue, an increase of 160 basis points as compared to the prior year. The increase was driven by increased waste and costs related to new food safety procedures as well as higher avocado prices, partially offset by relief in beef prices and a benefit of menu price increases implemented in select restaurants in the second half of 2015.

Restaurant level operating margin was 12.8% for the full year 2016, a decrease from 26.1% from the prior year. The decrease was driven by sales deleverage, increased marketing and promotional spending, and other increased costs of doing business.

General and administrative expenses were 7.1% of revenue for the full year of 2016, an increase of 150 basis points over the prior year, primarily as a result of sales deleverage. In dollar terms, general and administrative costs increased compared to the prior year due to higher legal expense, higher payroll costs as we grew, and expenses associated with our biennial All Managers’ Conference held during 2016, partially offset by lower bonus expense and travel costs.

Our 2016 effective tax rate was 40.8%, an increase of 2.6% from 2015, due to higher state tax rates, not qualifying for the federal research and development tax credit in 2016, and non-deductible items on overall lower pre-tax operating income.

Net income for the full year of 2016 was $22.9 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, compared to net income of $475.6 million, or $15.10 per diluted share, for the prior year.

Outlook

For 2017, management is targeting the following:

  • Comparable restaurant sales increases in the high-single digits
  • 195 – 210 new restaurant openings
  • An estimated effective full year tax rate to be between 39.0% and 39.5%, which will be impacted by volatility due to a recently issued accounting standard that changes how we account for taxes associated with stock-based compensation awards.

Definitions

The following definitions apply to these terms as used throughout this release:

Comparable restaurant sales, or sales comps, represent the change in period-over-period sales for restaurants in operation for at least 13 full calendar months.

Comparable restaurant transactions represent the change in period-over-period transactions, including transactions with no sales dollars due to promotional discounts, for restaurants in operation for at least 13 full calendar months.

Restaurant level operating margin represents total revenue less restaurant operating costs, expressed as a percent of total revenue.

Conference Call

Chipotle will host a conference call to discuss the fourth quarter and full year 2016 financial results on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 4:30 PM Eastern time.

The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing 1-888-791-4326 or for international callers by dialing 1-913-905-3216. The call will be webcast live from the company’s website on the investor relations page at ir.chipotle.com. An archived webcast will be available approximately one hour after the end of the call.

About Chipotle

Steve Ells, our founder, chairman and CEO, 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 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, the land, and the people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using whole, unprocessed ingredients and 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 as of December 31, 2016, operated 2,250 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release, including statements under the heading “Outlook” of our expected comparable restaurant sales, number of new restaurant openings, and effective tax rate, for 2017 are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We use words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “should,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions, to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date any such statements are made and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the uncertainty of our ability to achieve expected levels of comparable restaurant sales due to factors such as changes in consumers’ perceptions of our brand, including as a result of food-borne illness incidents beginning in late 2015, the impact of competition, including from sources outside the restaurant industry, decreased overall consumer spending, or our possible inability to increase menu prices or realize the benefits of menu price increases; the risk of food-borne illnesses and other health concerns about our food or dining out generally; factors that could affect our ability to achieve and manage our planned expansion, such as the availability of a sufficient number of suitable new restaurant sites and the availability of qualified employees; the performance of new restaurants and their impact on existing restaurant sales; increases in the cost of food ingredients and other key supplies or higher food costs due to new supply chain protocols; the potential for increased labor costs or difficulty retaining qualified employees, including as a result of market pressures, enhanced food safety procedures in our restaurants, or new regulatory requirements; risks related to our marketing and advertising strategies, which may not be successful and may expose us to liabilities; risks relating to our expansion into new markets; the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to our employees, our restaurant design, or the sale of food or alcoholic beverages; risks associated with our Food With Integrity philosophy, including supply shortages and potential liabilities from advertising claims and other marketing activities related to Food With Integrity; security risks associated with the acceptance of electronic payment cards or electronic storage and processing of confidential customer or employee information; risks relating to litigation, including possible governmental actions related to food-borne illness incidents, as well as class action litigation regarding employment laws, advertising claims or other matters; risks relating to our insurance coverage and self-insurance; our dependence on key personnel and uncertainties arising from recent changes in our management team; risks regarding our ability to protect our brand and reputation; risks associated with our ability to effectively manage our growth; and other risk factors described from time to time in our SEC reports, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, all of which are available on the investor relations page of our website at ir.Chipotle.com.

Investor Relations:
Mark Alexee
303-605-1042

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Chipotle Mexican Grill names Paul T. Cappuccio, Robin S. Hickenlooper, Ali Namvar and Matthew Paull to its Board of Directors

DENVER, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has named four new members to its Board of Directors: Paul T. Cappuccio, Robin S. Hickenlooper, Ali Namvar and Matthew Paull, effective December 14, 2016. The new Directors will serve an initial term through Chipotle’s 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, and the Board of Directors currently consists of twelve members.

“Chipotle has enjoyed extraordinary success for most of our 23-year history, and it is important to us that we structure the company to enjoy similar success in the future,” said Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chipotle. “The addition of these new directors strengthens our Board of Directors, and gives us the oversight, accountability and leadership we need as we continue our efforts to reestablish Chipotle as the leader we have been for much of our history.”

Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. CEO William A. Ackman said, “We are pleased that Chipotle has taken the important step of refreshing its Board which will position the company for continued growth and long-term success. We look forward to working with the Board and management to create sustained value for all shareholders for many years to come.”

In connection with the appointments, Chipotle and Pershing Square have agreed to various provisions continuing at least until prior to the 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The full agreements with Pershing Square will be filed in a Current Report on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).

ABOUT THE NOMINEES

Mr. Cappuccio has served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Time Warner since 2001. In this capacity, he oversees the worldwide management of Time Warner’s legal functions, collaborating with all of its operating businesses. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Cappuccio was Senior Vice President and General Counsel at America Online. Before joining AOL, he was a Partner at the Washington, DC office of law firm Kirkland & Ellis, where he specialized in telecommunications law, appellate litigation, and negotiation with government agencies. From 1991 to 1993, Mr. Cappuccio was Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, where he advised Attorney General William P. Barr on matters relating to judicial selection, civil litigation, antitrust and civil rights. Prior to his service at the DOJ, Mr. Cappuccio served as law clerk at the United States Supreme Court for Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy, and as a law clerk to Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, Calif. He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1986, and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1983. Mr. Cappuccio brings significant large public company experience to the board, including significant transactional, financial, strategic, and corporate governance experience.

Mrs. Hickenlooper, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Liberty Global, has served in senior corporate development roles at Liberty since 2010. She also serves as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Liberty Media. Prior to joining Liberty, she worked in the strategic planning and business development group at Del Monte Foods and in investment banking at Thomas Weisel Partners. Mrs. Hickenlooper holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University. Mrs. Hickenlooper brings to the board significant corporate development and financial expertise.

Mr. Namvar is a Partner at Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., a registered investment advisor with more than $11 billion in assets under management and currently Chipotle’s largest investor. Mr. Namvar joined Pershing Square in 2006 and has been a major contributor to the firm’s growth. He brings more than a decade of experience investing in publicly traded, branded consumer products and restaurant companies. Mr. Namvar has played an instrumental role in a number of Pershing Square investments over the years, including its significant equity stakes in Fortune Brands, Beam, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Wendy’s International, Kraft Foods and Mondelez International, among others. Prior to joining Pershing Square, Mr. Namvar served as a Vice President at the Blackstone Group in its corporate advisory practice, where he advised corporate boards and investment firms on a wide range of shareholder value-enhancing transactions. Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. Namvar worked in the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University, New York, and earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Namvar brings to the board a significant understanding of strategy, governance and finance within the restaurant industry.

Mr. Paull was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of McDonald’s Corp. from 2001 until he retired from that position in 2008. Before joining McDonald’s in 1993, Mr. Paull was a Partner at Ernst & Young, where he managed a variety of financial practices over the course of his 18-year career, and consulted with a number of notable multinational companies. Mr. Paull currently serves as a member of the board of Air Products, where he chairs the Audit and Finance Committee and is a member of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee and the Executive Committee, a member of the board of Canadian Pacific where he chairs the Audit Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee, a member of the board of KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp., and was a former member of the board of WMS Industries and Best Buy Co. Mr. Paull previously served on Chipotle’s Board when it was owned by McDonald’s. He currently serves on the advisory board of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. Mr. Paull holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois. Mr. Paull brings to the board significant experience in the restaurant industry and financial expertise, including deep understanding of financial markets, corporate finance, accounting and controls, and investor relations.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, 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 whole, unprocessed ingredients and 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 2,200 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:
Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill names company Founder Steve Ells its sole Chief Executive Officer

  • Ells Pledges Renewed Focus on Enhanced Guest Experience, Innovation and an Expanded Commitment to Making Better Food Accessible to More People
  • Investor Call Scheduled for 5:00 PM Eastern Time Today

DENVER, 2016-Dec-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) announced that its Board of Directors has named company Founder Steve Ells the company’s sole Chief Executive Officer. Ells will also remain Chairman of Chipotle’s board. Monty Moran has stepped down from the co-CEO role and from his board seat effective immediately, and will retire from Chipotle in 2017.

“Steve founded Chipotle more than 23 years ago with a powerful vision to use great ingredients prepared skillfully by hand, but served very fast,” said Neil Flanzraich, Lead Director of Chipotle’s board. “This approach has proven to be a very successful formula, but as the company grew, operations became more complicated and less consistent. Given the ongoing challenges facing the company, the board felt strongly that it was best for Steve to resume leadership of the company going forward. This will ensure that his high standards for the guest experience and his unyielding commitment to the company’s mission are top priorities.”

Ells, a classically trained chef, started Chipotle in 1993 with a small loan from his father. Chipotle has since grown into one of the nation’s largest restaurant companies, with more than 2,200 locations in five countries. Ells served as Chairman and CEO from 1993 until 2009 when he became co-CEO, a title he shared with Moran. The company went public in 2006. As Chairman and CEO, Ells will directly oversee restaurant operations, strategic initiatives, and innovation projects at the company.

“Chipotle is based on a very simple idea: We start with great ingredients, prepare them using classic cooking techniques, and serve them in a way that allows people to get exactly what they want,” said Ells. “Even though it’s a simple idea, operations have become over-complicated. I’m very much looking forward to relentlessly focusing on ensuring an excellent guest experience, removing unnecessary complexity from our operations, championing innovation, and pursuing our mission of making better food accessible to more people.”

Ells also indicated that he will pursue employee incentives that are more closely tied to the guest experience. Chipotle now pays its starting employees above the federal minimum wage and provides benefits including paid vacation time, paid sick leave, and tuition reimbursement to all employees. The company also provides stock to its General Managers upon achieving Restaurateur status. The Restaurateur program, which recognizes the company’s elite restaurant managers and provides a pipeline for its future leaders, is a cornerstone of Chipotle’s field operations. In recent years, however, achieving Restaurateur status has become increasingly complex and Ells is committed to re-envisioning the program by placing an emphasis on the guest experience and making the path to Restaurateur more intuitive and accessible to more General Managers.

“It’s incredibly important to me that we create an excellent dining experience in all of our restaurants. That starts with having great restaurant teams. To that end, I will evolve our Restaurateur program to ensure that even more of our best employees succeed and thrive at the company,” Ells said. “While our plans will take some time to implement, we will act with a sense of urgency toward all of the changes we are pursuing.”

Ells also recommitted to the company’s quest to serve better ingredients, announcing a reimagined company mission. The new company mission to “Ensure that better food, prepared from whole, unprocessed ingredients is accessible to everyone” is the next step in the evolution of Chipotle’s mission-driven business. Chipotle’s previous mission was to “Change the way people think about and eat fast food.”

Ell’s commitment to expanding the company’s mission can be seen at http://www.chipotle.com/mission.

“When I started Chipotle, I knew very little about the way food was raised,” Ells said. “But over the years, I’ve become a champion for ingredients that are raised with respect for people, animals, and the environment. I will also continue to advocate for food made simply, without processed ingredients, which is the kind of food I believe should be available to everyone. I’m incredibly proud of the team at Chipotle and I’m thankful to them for helping us realize our mission of bringing better food to more and more people.”

“I’d also like to thank Monty for his extraordinary contributions to Chipotle over the years. Monty inspired us with his vision for an enlightened people culture, and I wish him the best as he retires from the company,” Ells said.

Chipotle will hold a call for investors at 5:00 PM Eastern time today during which management will discuss these changes. Please note that the company will not be providing an update to Q3 financials during this call. The conference call can be accessed live by dialing 800-239-9838 or for international callers by dialing 1-913-661-9178. The call will be webcast live from the company’s website at chipotle.com under the investor relations section. An archived webcast will be available approximately one hour after the end of the call.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, 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 whole, unprocessed ingredients and 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 2,200 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements in this press release, including statements about company leadership and the quality of the guest experience in Chipotle restaurants, are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We use words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “should”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “predict”, “project”, “target”, and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions, to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date any such statements are made and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the uncertainty of our ability to achieve expected levels of comparable restaurant sales due to factors such as changes in consumers’ acceptance of and enthusiasm for our brand, including as a result of food-borne illness incidents, the impact of competition, including from sources outside the restaurant industry, decreased overall consumer spending, or our possible inability to increase menu prices or realize the benefits of menu price increases; the risk of food-borne illnesses and other health concerns about our food or dining out generally; factors that could affect our ability to achieve and manage our planned expansion, such as the availability of a sufficient number of suitable new restaurant sites and the availability of qualified employees; the performance of new restaurants and their impact on existing restaurant sales; increases in the cost of food ingredients and other key supplies or higher food costs due to new supply chain protocols; the potential for increased labor costs or difficulty retaining qualified employees, including as a result of market pressures, enhanced food safety procedures in our restaurants, or new regulatory requirements; risks relating to our expansion into new markets; the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to our employees, our restaurant design, or the sale of food or alcoholic beverages; risks associated with our Food With Integrity strategy, including supply shortages and potential liabilities from advertising claims and other marketing activities related to Food With Integrity; security risks associated with the acceptance of electronic payment cards or electronic storage and processing of confidential customer or employee information; risks relating to litigation, including possible governmental actions related to food-borne illness incidents, as well as class action litigation regarding employment laws, advertising claims or other matters; risks relating to our insurance coverage and self-insurance; risks arising from senior management changes, including our return to having a single CEO, as well as our dependence on key personnel; risks related to our marketing and advertising strategies, including risks related to our Chiptopia rewards program and other promotional activities; risks regarding our ability to protect our brand and reputation; risks associated with our ability to effectively manage our growth; and other risk factors described from time to time in our SEC reports, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, all of which are available on the investor relations page of our website at ir.Chipotle.com.

Contact:
Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill announces the return of its annual Halloween celebration, Boorito on October 31st

DENVER, 2016-Oct-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Go to any Chipotle in costume from 3 p.m. to close on Halloween and get a burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos for only $3. Proceeds will help raised $1 million for the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

“Boorito is a tradition that we started in 2000, to simply give a treat to our customers while celebrating Halloween. It’s gotten to the point that for our long-term customers, we don’t even need to mention Boorito anymore, as they’re coming in anyway knowing they’re going to have a great time enjoying the food they love, all while supporting a good cause.” said Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer at Chipotle.

What started as just a fun way to celebrate Halloween has turned into a very effective fundraiser. Over the last four years, through Boorito Chipotle customers have helped raise $4 million for theChipotle Cultivate Foundation simply by coming in dressed in costume. Proceeds from this year’s event, up to $1 million, will benefit the foundation established in 2011 to allow Chipotle to extend its commitment to creating a more sustainable food future.

This is one event that really does put the “fun” in “fundraiser” — where Chipotle customers can have good fun and good food, for a good cause. For more information about this year’s Boorito celebration, and the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, please visit www.chipotle.com/boorito.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, including 20 Chipotle restaurants outside the U.S. and 15 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates three Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:
Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

###

Chipotle Mexican Grill announces the return of its annual Halloween celebration, Boorito on October 31st
Chipotle Mexican Grill announces the return of its annual Halloween celebration, Boorito on October 31st

 

Source: Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill launches spicy new sausage chorizo in all U.S. restaurants

DENVER, 2016-Oct-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starting tomorrow (Oct. 3, 2016), Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) will serve chorizo in all U.S. restaurants. The spicy new sausage was introduced in five markets in June.

“The reaction to chorizo in the cities that have had it has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re making it available in all of our restaurants across the country,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Our chorizo is made with Responsibly Raised chicken and pork, and provides a delicious new option that fits perfectly with the rest of our menu.”

Made with a blend of pork and white-meat chicken, Chipotle’s chorizo is seasoned with paprika, toasted cumin and chipotle peppers, then seared on a hot grill to give it a perfect char. Chorizo is available in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads and can be combined with other signature ingredients.

The nationwide launch of chorizo comes just in time for National Taco Day, which is celebrated each year on October 4. Chipotle is excited to offer customers another delicious way to enjoy tacos on this fun national “holiday”, and throughout the entire year.

For years Chipotle has been providing fresh, Responsibly Raised ingredients grown and raised with respect for farmers, animals and the environment. This includes serving Responsibly Raised meats, ingredients that are not genetically engineered, certain organic produce items and a majority of dairy from cows raised on pasture.

For more information, please visit Chipotle.com/chorizo-info.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, including 26 Chipotle restaurants outside the US and 14 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates four Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:
Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

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Chipotle Mexican Grill launches spicy new sausage chorizo in all U.S. restaurants
Chipotle Mexican Grill launches spicy new sausage chorizo in all U.S. restaurants

 

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. to host 3Q 2016 financial results conference call on October 25, 2016

DENVER, 2016-Sep-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) today (Sep. 28, 2016) announced that it will host a conference call to discuss third quarter 2016 financial results on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM Eastern time. A press release with third quarter 2016 financial results will be issued at approximately 4:10 PM Eastern time that same day.

The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing 1-877-857-6149 or for international callers by dialing 1-719-325-4751. A replay will be available approximately two hours after the call and can be accessed by dialing 1-877-870-5176 or 1-858-384-5517 for international callers; the password to access the replay is 1052659. The replay will be available until November 1, 2016. The call will also be webcast live from the Company’s website on the investor relations page at ir.chipotle.com. An archived webcast will be available approximately one hour after the end of the call.

About Chipotle

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,100 restaurants, including 27 Chipotle restaurants outside the US and 15 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates four Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
Mark Alexee
303-605-1042
malexee@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Chipotle Mexican Grill announces the appointment of Jim Slater as managing director in Europe

DENVER, 2016-Sep-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has announced the appointment of Jim Slater as the company’s managing director in Europe. Based in the U.K., Slater has made a career of building successful European brands, including Costa Coffee, Bombay Sapphire Gin, and Sunderland Association Football Club. As managing director at Chipotle, Slater will oversee the strategy, development and growth of Chipotle’s European business.

“Jim not only believes in our commitment to change the way people think about and eat fast food, but he also celebrates our vision of building teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman, and co-CEO. “We have great confidence in his abilities and expertise, and believe his leadership will help us enhance and grow our business in Europe.”

Slater most recently served as the managing director of Costa Coffee in the U.K. and Ireland, overseeing 2,200 stores and more than a billion dollars in sales. At Costa, he was instrumental in the efforts that resulted in Costa becoming bigger in the U.K. than Starbucks, Nero, Pret a Manger and Eat combined. He and his team won Marketing Society’s “Brand of the Year” award in 2011, and became The Times’ “Brand of the Decade” in 2014. Slater laid a classic blue-chip career foundation with Mars, Kraft and Diageo before joining the soccer team he supported since childhood, Sunderland AFC, as commercial and marketing director in 1998.

“Chipotle’s commitment to better food from ingredients raised and grown with respect for animals, farmers and the environment is consistent with how many Europeans eat and the brand is one that really resonates with customers here,” said Slater. “Looking at the success of Chipotle in the U.S., I know the company has tremendous opportunity in Europe and I look forward to continuing to develop the Chipotle brand in these markets.”

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, including 24 Chipotle restaurants outside the US and 14 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates four Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:

Chris Arnold
303.222.5912
carnold@chipotle.com

SOURCE: Chipotle

Attention students: Chipotle Mexican Grill announces free drink promotion with food purchase during September

DENVER, 2016-Sep-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Sept. 19, 2016), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) announced a promotion to help make heading back to school a little easier. During the entire month of September, high school and college students with a valid ID can enjoy free fountain soft drinks or iced tea with any in-store entrée purchase.

“It can be tough when the end of the summer collides with the reality of heading back to school,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle. “We’re filling – and refilling – students’ cups at all Chipotle locations to celebrate the beginning of the new academic year.”

Transactions that include the free student drink will still count toward Chiptopia, Chipotle’s loyalty program that rewards customers who make multiple paid visits to Chipotle each month with free food when transactions total at least six dollars.

The student drink promotion is open to high school (including home schooled students), undergraduate or graduate college students who present a valid ID. This promotion includes fountain soft drinks and iced tea and excludes any bottled drinks (Izze, Nantucket). Free drinks are limited to one per person, per visit, and are only valid with in-store orders.

For more information, please visit Chipotle.com/septemberfreedrink.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, including 24 Chipotle restaurants outside the US and 14 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates four Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:

Chris Arnold
303.222.5912
carnold@chipotle.com

SOURCE: Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill seeks to hire 5,000 new employees on its National Career Day on September 28, 2016

DENVER, 2016-Sep-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today (Sep. 14, 2016) announced its second-annual National Career Day, taking place on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 during which it seeks to hire 5,000 new employees, topping its 2015 goal of 4,000.

Managers of each U.S. restaurant location will hold open interviews for up to 100 applicants from 8-11 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. on September 28. Interested candidates are invited to register for an interview at the Chipotle location of their choice by visiting www.nationalcareerday.com.

Chipotle currently employs more than 60,000 people, and people who are hired into entry-level crew positions have the potential to quickly be promoted into management positions. Over the last year, the company has promoted more than 11,000 people from hourly crew into management roles. Through National Career Day, interested applicants will have the opportunity to interview onsite with a manager and jumpstart their career with one of the nation’s fastest growing restaurant companies.

“We are constantly looking for great people to join our team. Regardless of your background or experience, you can succeed at Chipotle if you are willing to work hard to create an excellent guest experience, and have a passion for making the people around you better,” said Monty Moran, co-chief executive officer at Chipotle. “With the success of last year’s National Career Day, we hope to hire 5,000 new people during National Career Day to join our team and start their career at Chipotle. Working here isn’t just a job, but a career where employees learn how to make others better, run a successful business, master culinary skills, and most importantly, become true leaders, of teams of top performers.”

With a company culture that values character over experience (no experience is required to apply or be hired), Chipotle bases its hiring on a specific set of 13 Characteristics that indicate an applicant’s potential for success within the company. These traits include being conscientious, respectful, hospitable, high energy, infectiously enthusiastic, happy, presentable, smart, polite, motivated, ambitious, curious and honest.

Unlike most companies in the traditional fast food and fast casual industries, Chipotle offers all employees significant career advancement opportunities, as well as compensation and benefits above industry standard. By developing career skills internally, more than 90 percent of the company’s restaurant managers are promoted from within. The highest performing managers have the additional opportunity to be promoted to Restaurateur, which offers benefits such as a company car and six-figure earning potential. Many people have been promoted from crew or general manager positions to executive roles, or even officer roles, within the company.

Chipotle also offers a highly competitive benefits package to all employees, including paid sick leave and vacation time; tuition assistance; heavily discounted undergraduate and graduate classes and college programs through its partnership with Guild Education; health, dental and vision insurance; a 401(k) matching program; employee stock purchase program; and the opportunity for twice-annual merit increases and an annual bonus. A full look at the career path and benefits can be found on Chipotle’s Career site: http://careers.chipotle.com/career-path.

For Chipotle’s first National Career Day, nearly 65,000 people registered for interviews and Chipotle extended job offers to more than 4,000 people throughout the week of National Career Day.

For more information and to register for an interview, please visit www.NationalCareerDay.com.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, including 24 Chipotle restaurants outside the US and 14 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates four Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:
Chris Arnold
303.222.5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Chipotle announces Kids eat free every Sunday with the purchase of an entrée this September

Chipotle announces Kids eat free every Sunday with the purchase of an entrée this September
Chipotle announces Kids eat free every Sunday with the purchase of an entrée this September

 

DENVER, 2016-Aug-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) today (Aug. 30, 2016) announced a promotion that is sure to keep everyone in the family satisfied. Every Sunday during the month of September, customers will receive a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an entrée. To accompany each kid’s meal, Chipotle has also partnered with the beloved children’s book, Dragons Love Tacosby Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri to create limited edition in-store activity sheets that are fun for the whole family to complete.

“For more than two decades we have been serving families better food made with ingredients parents can trust — ingredients raised with respect for the land, the animals, and the farmers who produce them,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle. “We think good food is at its best enjoyed with good company, and we hope families will join us on Sundays to share a meal together.”

The kid’s meal promotion is valid when purchasing a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos, and includes any Chipotle kid’s meal, including the build your own option and the quesadilla. Transactions that include the free kid’s meal will count toward Chiptopia, Chipotle’s loyalty program that rewards customers who make multiple paid visits to Chipotle each month with free food when transactions total at least $6. The promotion is available every Sunday in September.

For more information, please visit Chipotle.com/freekidsmeal.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, including 24 Chipotle restaurants outside the US and 14 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates four Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:

Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle

Chipotle offers students free drinks with food purchase during the month of September

DENVER, 2016-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Aug. 29, 2016), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) announced a promotion to help make heading back to school a little easier. During the entire month of September, high school and college students with a valid ID can enjoy free fountain soft drinks or iced tea with any in-store entrée purchase.

“It can be tough when the end of the summer collides with the reality of heading back to school,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle. “We’re filling – and refilling – students’ cups at all Chipotle locations to celebrate the beginning of the new academic year.”

Transactions that include the free student drink will still count toward Chiptopia, Chipotle’s loyalty program that rewards customers who make multiple paid visits to Chipotle each month with free food when transactions total at least six dollars.

The student drink promotion is open to high school (including home schooled students), undergraduate or graduate college students who present a valid ID. This promotion includes fountain soft drinks and iced tea and excludes any bottled drinks (Izze, Nantucket). Free drinks are limited to one per person, per visit, and are only valid with in-store orders.

For more information, please visit Chipotle.com/septemberfreedrink.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, including 24 Chipotle restaurants outside the US and 14 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates four Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Contact:

Chris Arnold
303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. will present at ICR Conference 2016

DENVER, 2016-01-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) today announced that the Company will present at an upcoming investor conference.

On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, the Company is scheduled to present at ICR Conference 2016 at 1:30 pm Eastern Time. The presentation will be webcast live from the Company’s Web Site at chipotle.com under the investor relations section. Archived webcasts will be available after the conclusion of the presentation.

About Chipotle
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 1,900 restaurants, including 22 Chipotle restaurants outside the U.S. and 11 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates three Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Source: Chipotle

Chipotle
Mark Alexee
Investor Relations
303-605-1042

Chipotle Mexican Grill: Investigation continues into E. coli incident in 11 Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon

DENVER, 2015-11-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) continues to work closely with state and federal health officials, as the investigation continues into an E. coli incident initially linked to 11 Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced the number of cases connected to Chipotle from 50 to 37 cases onNovember 18 (with 24 in Washington and 13 in Oregon). This reduction of nearly 25% was based upon more sensitive testing which revealed the cases were not related to Chipotle. The CDC has informed Chipotle that it identified six additional cases in which initial testing matches the E. coli strain involved in the Washington and Oregon incident. Although one of the individuals has no known link to Chipotle, five individuals did report eating at Chipotle, including two in Turlock, Calif., one in Akron, Ohio, one in Amherst, NY, and one in Burnsville, Minn.

Investigators have suggested that in incidents like this, it is not unusual to see additional cases after the initial incident as the investigation moves forward. The source of the problem appears to have been contained during a period in late October. Forty-two of the 43 cases linked to Chipotle, reported visiting one of the restaurants in question between October 13 and October 30. One person reported having eatenNovember 6.

In response to this incident, Chipotle has taken aggressive steps to make sure its restaurants are as safe as possible. There have been no reported new cases in Washington or Oregon since Chipotle put its remediation plan into effect.

Specifically, the company conducted deep cleaning at the restaurants that have been linked to this incident, replacing ingredients in those restaurants, changing food preparation procedures, providing all necessary supply chain data to investigators, and surveying employees to be sure none have had any symptoms of illness (note: no Chipotle employees in any states have been ill related to this incident). Similar actions are immediately being taken in response to these newly reported cases.

Chipotle is also taking significant steps to be sure all of its food is as safe as possible. Specifically, the company is expanding testing of key ingredients, examining all of its food-safety procedures to find any opportunity for improvement, and is working with two renowned food safety scientists to assess all of its food safety programs, from the farms that provide its food to its restaurants.

“We take this incident very seriously because the safety of our food and wellbeing of our customers is always our highest priority,” saidSteve Ells, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “We are committed to taking any and all necessary actions to make sure our food is as safe as possible, and we are working diligently with the health agencies.”

“We offer our sincerest apologies to those who have been affected,” said Ells. “We will leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of our food – from enhancing the safety and quality assurance program for all of our fresh produce suppliers, to examining all of our food safety procedures from farm to restaurant, and expanding testing programs for produce, meat and dairy items before they are sent to our restaurants.”

According to the CDC, there are about 48 million cases of food-related illness in the U.S. annually, including 265,000 cases of E. coli.

Additional information about this incident is available online at Chipotle.com/update.

About Chipotle

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 1,900 restaurants, including 17 Chipotle restaurants outside the US, 11 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates three Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Source: Chipotle

Chipotle
Chris Arnold, 303-222-5912
chris.arnold@chipotle.com

SOURCE: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Chipotle Mexican Grill announces the appointment of Curt Garner as CIO

Starbucks’ Curt Garner to Join Chipotle Management Team as the Company’s First CIO

DENVER, 2015-10-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) announced that it has hired Curt Garner as chief information officer. Garner, who held the same position at Starbucks Coffee Corporation, will join Chipotle effective November 23, 2015, and become the company’s first CIO.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Inherent in that vision is our quest to provide the very best restaurant experience we can. As we look for ways to create efficiencies in our restaurants and improve the customer experience through the strategic use of technology, Curt’s experience and expertise make him an ideal and welcome addition to our management team.”

Prior to joining Chipotle, Garner served as CIO at Starbucks, where he held a variety of positions in the company’s information technology group throughout his 18 years with the company. During his tenure at Starbucks, Garner’s work on technology infrastructure began when the company had fewer than 2,000 stores, and continued through its development of the infrastructure to support a global business that is recognized as a leader in digital platform technology.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Garner held a technology leadership position at Wendy’s International, Inc. He is a 1991 graduate of Ohio State University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.

“Chipotle is a tremendous company with and important mission and remarkably loyal customers,” said Garner. “I am thrilled to join such a dynamic organization at a time when investments in technology infrastructure can help the company create a technology platform that is on par with the leadership they have already established in terms of their food culture, people culture, and unit economic model.”

In his new role at Chipotle, Garner will report to Jack Hartung, chief financial officer at Chipotle.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 1,850 restaurants, including 22 Chipotle restaurants outside the U.S. and 11 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates three Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Source: Chipotle

Chipotle
Chris Arnold, 303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

Chipotle Mexican Grill restored most of its pork supply and again serves Carnitas in 90 percent of its restaurants

New Supplier Enables Chipotle to Return Popular Menu Item to Restaurants around the Country

DENVER, 2015-9-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today announced that it has restored most of its pork supply and is again serving Carnitas in 90 percent of its restaurants. The company expects to have Carnitas back in all of its restaurants by the end of November.

Chipotle stopped serving Carnitas at more than a third of its restaurants earlier this year after it suspended one of its primary pork suppliers when routine auditing found inconsistencies between the supplier’s operations and Chipotle’s pork protocol. Chipotle’s high standards require that pigs are raised with access to the outdoors or deeply bedded barns, without the use of antibiotics, and with no gestation crates. These practices are in stark contrast with how pigs are conventionally raised, so Chipotle opted to pull Carnitas from hundreds of restaurants rather than compromise its commitment to animal welfare.

“The decision to stop selling Carnitas in many of our restaurants was an easy one,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO at Chipotle. “We simply will not compromise our high standards for animal welfare. Since making this decision, we have heard from thousands of our customers who have expressed support for our decision, and commended us for standing on principle. Now, we are excited to have Carnitas back in nearly all of our restaurants, and want to thank our customers for their patience while we worked to address this issue.”

Carnitas is now available at all Chipotle locations in the U.S. with the exception of restaurants in the Cleveland and Atlanta areas, and inNorth Carolina and South Carolina. Chipotle has been able to replenish its pork supply working with existing suppliers and by adding a new partner, United Kingdom-based Karro Food. Karro produces delicious pork from pigs raised to Chipotle’s high standards for animal welfare.

While Chipotle continues to prefer domestic sources for all of its meat, conventionally raised pork in the U.S. does not meet the company’s high standards for animal welfare. Pigs raised conventionally are raised indoors, in densely crowded conditions with little or no bedding. Most live on slatted metal floors that allow their waste to collect beneath them in liquefied pools. Mother pigs are often kept for months at a time in metal crates so small that they cannot turn around, and copious quantities of antibiotics are used to keep the animals from getting sick in these conditions. When faced with the choice between serving conventional pork in some of its restaurants or nothing at all, Chipotle chose not to serve Carnitas in hundreds of its restaurants rather than compromising its standards.

For more information, please visit chipotle.com/carnitas.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 1,850 restaurants, including its restaurants outside the U.S. and 11 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates three Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chris Arnold, 303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com

SOURCE: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the latest installment of its popular “Cultivating Thought” author series

Participants invited to summarize the essays on Chipotle’s packaging for a chance to win one of 500 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-readers

DENVER, 2015-9-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today announced the latest installment of its popular “Cultivating Thought” author series, and with it a new online sweepstakes called the Super Short Book Report. The sweepstakes, presented with Amazon Kindle, invites participants to submit a 103-character book report, based on one of the new “Cultivating Thought” stories, for the chance to win prizes including one of 500 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-readers.

The Super Short Book Report challenges customers to not only read the newly published short stories on Chipotle’s cups and bags, but to summarize one story of their choosing. Starting today, participants can submit their “book report” for a chance to be one of 50 daily winners, randomly selected to receive an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. The winners will be contacted on the day immediately following their date of entry. The sweepstakes will run until September 23, and participants will be limited to one entry per day. Entries can be submitted by visiting www.CultivatingThought.com/SuperShort.

“Our mission has always been to change how people think about and eat fast food, and in addition to highlighting our fresh ingredients, we seek to encourage curiosity in our customers about the world around them,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer. “Cultivating Thought has succeeded as an extension of that idea, by not only inspiring new ways of thinking, but by also extending the customer experience in our restaurants.”

Now in its third installment, “Cultivating Thought” was first launched in May 2014 in partnership with New York Times best-selling author and series curator Jonathan Safran Foer. The series offers Chipotle’s nearly one million daily customers an unexpected source of entertainment while exposing them to the thought provoking writing of world-renowned, bestselling authors. The Super Short Book Report is Amazon Kindle’s first-ever partnership of its kind with a national restaurant company.

“Our mission at Amazon is to make reading more accessible to consumers, whether that means reading a few pages on your Kindle during your evening commute or taking a quick break to read during your lunch hour,” said Neil Lindsay, vice president Kindle marketing. “We love finding new ways for readers to lose themselves in a story, which is why we’re excited to partner with Chipotle on this innovative campaign, designed to help encourage reading.”

The newest slate of contributors includes 11 notable authors who have been widely recognized in popular culture not only for their bestselling novels, but also for how their works have transcended the page into screenplays for film and/or television. Among the new list of authors is a Pulitzer Prize winner, a Newbery Medal winner, two National Book Award winners, and five authors who have had their writing adapted into widely recognized and award-nominated films and television shows. In addition to the sweepstakes offering, the full list of “Cultivating Thought” authors, and their written works, will be available on the Amazon Kindle homepage by visiting amazon.com/cultivatingthought.

The full list of new “Cultivating Thought” contributors includes:

  • M.T. Anderson (Feed, Thirsty)
  • Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
  • Stephen J. Dubner (Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics)
  • Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate)
  • Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections, Freedom, Purity)
  • Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Seabiscuit: An American Legend)
  • Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
  • Lois Lowry (Number the Stars, The Giver)
  • Tom Perrotta (Election, Little Children, The Leftovers)
  • Mary Roach (Packing for Mars, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers)
  • Colson Whitehead (The Intuitionist, John Henry Days)

As a series, “Cultivating Thought” has acted as an extension of Chipotle’s progressive approach to food and culture by offering meaningful, thought-provoking, and accessible content. With the series, Chipotle challenges the conventions of the fast food industry by using its packaging as an opportunity to engage customers with original stories. The first two installments of “Cultivating Thought” have included original works from acclaimed authors such as Toni Morrison, Malcolm Gladwell, Amy Tan, Augusten Burroughs, and Neil Gaiman.

The new “Cultivating Thought” packaging is available in Chipotle restaurants now, and customers can also view these stories by visiting chipotle.com/cultivatingthought.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, 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 (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 1,850 restaurants, including 17 Chipotle restaurants outside the U.S. and 11 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates three Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chris Arnold, 303-222-5912
carnold@chipotle.com