Industry News | May 11, 2009

Chipotle: 60,000 Menu Items Strong

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Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG - News) (NYSE: CMG.B - News) launched a comprehensive advertising campaign to increase awareness of the 60,000-plus various food combinations available on its menu.

The new campaign, called “My Chipotle,” seeks to harness the creativity of Chipotle’s dedicated fan base and engage them via an online call for videos and original content.

Chipotle’s menu offerings, made with the best-tasting sustainably raised, premium quality ingredients, including naturally raised meat, rBGH-free dairy and local and organic produce, allow customers to create thousands of delicious burrito, taco and salad combinations. Because customers choose exactly what goes into their individual order, they can tailor what they eat to meet any taste or dietary preferences, making Chipotle appeal to a broad customer base. The campaign calls attention to the varied options available at Chipotle and demonstrates how meals in the restaurant can be personalized by and for each customer.

“With this campaign, it is our intention to harness the power of our most loyal fans,” says Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer of Chipotle. “We want them to be a part of the process because we know they’re consistently expressing themselves through their menu choices. By encouraging them to tell us why they eat what they do, we think they’ll spread the word and encourage others to come in and give Chipotle a try as well.”

Chipotle’s restaurant model emphasizes doing just a few things so it can do them better than anyone else. This thinking is evident in Chipotle’s Food With Integrity philosophy, which has the company selecting ingredients from more sustainable sources whenever possible. Chipotle already serves more naturally raised meat (from animals that are raised in a humane way, never given antibiotics or added hormones and fed a pure vegetarian diet) than any other restaurant in the world, uses locally grown produce when seasonably available, serves only cheese and sour cream made with milk from cows that are not treated with the synthetic hormone rBGH and uses a growing percentage or organically grown beans.

“The efficiency of our restaurant operations has always been one of our greatest strengths,” says Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Demonstrating greater variety will help our customers better understand the universe of choices, but without creating the operational challenges that often come with a whole new menu or limited time offers.”

The “My Chipotle” campaign is now appearing online, in print, on the radio and in out-of-home advertising (billboards, bus shelters and taxi tops) in several cities around the country, including Sacramento, Denver, Dallas, Chicago and Cincinnati. It includes a dedicated website, mychipotle.com, that allows consumers to send content to Chipotle and view selected content submitted by other users. Chipotle will add new functions to the site as additional content is added, allowing users to share content using social media applications, rate submissions and sort content to find favorites. The best entries may be used as part of the campaign.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.