Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to purchase more than 20 million pounds of locally grown produce in its restaurants this year, up from its 2013 goal of 15 million pounds. Chipotle has steadily increased its locally sourced produce supply since beginning the program in 2008.
Michael Lewis’s thoughts on managing time. A George Saunders note to the future. Barn raising with Malcolm Gladwell. These aren’t part of a short story anthology or panels at a literary conference; they’re what is now plastered on the side of a Chipotle cup.
What started as an idea from writer Jonathan Safran Foer has turned into Chipotle’s newest food packaging initiative, “Cultivating Thought,” which is leveraging creative content to catch customers’ attention.
Tabasco is returning as an official sponsor of Chipotle Mexican Grill’s annual Cultivate Festival. The one-day food, music, and ideas festival is a celebration of where food comes from and the people who make it. Farmers, chefs, artisans, thought-leaders, and musicians will come together to reach their shared vision of a world of more sustainable, wholesome, and delicious food.
Sustainability continues to shape the future of the quick-serve industry, and many concepts are marketing their food as sustainable by highlighting locally sourced, in-season produce from nearby farms. But while limited-service restaurants design their marketing push around vegetables and plant-based products, they’re still trying to figure out how to work sustainably raised meat into the brand conversation.
With new limited-service brands emerging at a rapid pace, consumers have more dining choices than ever, and their preferences are proving that established national concepts could learn a thing or two from these smaller, younger chains. According to a nationwide study on consumers’ favorite quick-service chains from Market Force Information, brands like Firehouse Subs, Qdoba, and Papa Murphy’s rank better for customer satisfaction compared to more established category players like Subway, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut.
Pork was promoted for years as “the other white meat” to boost its exposure and dispel consumer perception that it’s too fatty. These days, pork is anything but “other” at many limited-service restaurants, though it’s often under the guise of specific ingredients: Menus mention items like sausage at breakfast, pepperoni for pizzas, and ham on sandwiches. And of course there’s bacon, a foodservice staple made from pork bellies.
Pork is increasingly finding a home on quick-serve menus due to consumers’ evolving tastes and the product’s flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
Chipotle Mexican Grill will host a special promotion in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, offering a buy-one, get-one menu item for educators and school staff. On Tuesday, May 6, all teachers, faculty, and staff will be eligible to receive a free burrito, burrito bowl, salad, or order of tacos with the purchase of another menu item when they present a valid school ID at the register. The promotion is valid in all U.S. Chipotle locations from 4 p.m. to closing time.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, in partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS), today announced that Chipotle will be the Official Fast-Casual Mexican Restaurant of MLS and 12 MLS Clubs. The sponsorship will be Chipotle’s largest single sports partnership and will feature promotional programs with 12 teams, individual players, and programs across the entire league.
Chipotle Mexican Grill debuted its original comedy series, “Farmed and Dangerous,” on Hulu and Hulu Plus. The four-episode series marks Chipotle’s first foray into long-format, unbranded content. Produced in conjunction with Piro, a New York—based studio, the series stars Ray Wise (“24,” “Mad Men,” “Twin Peaks”) and Eric Pierpoint (“Parks and Recreation,” “Big Love”), and provides a satirical look at the lengths the agriculture industry goes to manage perceptions about its practices.
Q: What does it take for a quick-service brand to become a great brand?
A: I get this question all the time. Many people look at superstar brands like Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Nike and mistakenly conclude those companies achieved their successes as a result of good timing, great advertising, or just plain luck. But I’ve found that these companies have employed specific, somewhat surprising, techniques that have turned them into industry icons.