Chipotle

Flavors of the World

Although most restaurants will change ingredients in an entrée to meet a guest’s request, a growing number of pizza and ethnic eateries are letting diners build their own menu items from scratch.

“It’s a system that delicatessens and street-food vendors worldwide have used for years. For many consumers, the concept of having restaurant staff assemble fresh, high-quality food in front of you to your design has great appeal,” says Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Chicago-based market research firm Technomic Inc.

The Grass is Always Greener

When customers stroll into Raj Pannu’s Subway store in LaPlace, Louisiana, they’re excited to find the lights react to motion sensors. They love the chairs and tables made from refurbished material, and they’re even impressed by the water-saving toilets.

A Subway franchisee for 18 years, Pannu ensured her sixth store was certified green by the U.S. Green Building Council. She crunched the numbers before going for the LEED certification, and her efforts paid off: She now saves $300–$400 in electricity and $70–$80 in water each month.

Jimmy John’s, Chipotle Ranked Among Fastest-Growing Chains

The list of the fastest-growing retailers this year tells a story of consumers’ growing affinity for fast-fashion, specialty grocery items, and apparel. STORES Hot 100 Retailers list, published annually in the August issue of STORES magazine, consists of retail companies that reported the greatest increase in domestic sales between 2011 and 2012. All public and private companies with more than $300 million in sales were eligible for the list, which was compiled by Kantar Retail.

 

Looking for Sustainability Advice? The NRA Has It

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has unveiled a new report focused on sustainability best practices for the foodservice industry. 

Created under the NRA’s Conserve initiative, the free report, “Bright Ideas: Sustainability Tips from Industry Experts,” features tips, trends, and real-world advice from industry experts who appeared at this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.

Chipotle Invites Fans to Join in 'Adventurrito' Treasure Hunt

Get ready to say “happy birthday” to one of your favorite foil-wrapped meals. In two weeks, Chipotle Mexican Grill will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a three-week-long treasure hunt, “Adventurrito,” that will take participants through a series of 20 online puzzles and daily prizes that will lead to the ultimate grand prize: free burritos for 20 years.

 

Chipotle Commits to 15M Pounds of Local Produce

Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to serve more than 15 million pounds of locally grown produce in its restaurants this year, up from its 2012 goal of 10 million pounds. As the only national restaurant company with a significant commitment to using local produce on a large scale, Chipotle has steadily increased its locally sourced produce supply since beginning the program in 2008.

 

Buying into Booze

Fast-casual restaurants were once able to claim premium food, modern décor, and all-around upscale service as hallmarks of their category. But with more quick-service chains retooling in those areas to compete for post-recession consumers, fast casuals have been left to search for new ways to differentiate their brands.

For many, that search has turned up something typically better suited to fine- and casual-dining joints: booze.

A Quick-Serve Rebound?

Technomic report shows strong growth for some chains in 2012.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit enjoyed the best growth among quick service restaurants.
Dickey's Barbecue Pit enjoyed the best growth among quick-service restaurants in 2012.

In a sign that the economic landscape might finally be rebounding for quick serves, early results from Technomic’s upcoming “Top 500 Restaurant Chain” report reveal that the fastest-growing limited-service restaurant chains in the U.S. realized average sales increases of 22.3 percent between 2011 and 2012.

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