Chipotle Mexican Grill, the Denver-based burrito restaurant known for serving food with integrity, has appointed President and Chief Operating Officer Monty Moran to its board of directors.

Moran joined Chipotle as its president and chief operating officer in March, 2005. Previously, he served as the company’s general counsel and CEO of the law firm Messner & Reeves, LLC.

“Monty has made a tremendous impact as our president and chief operating officer,” says Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and CEO. “His leadership, vision, and passion for the company have been an enormous asset through our transition to being a public company and in our ongoing effort to change the way Americans think about, and eat fast food.”

Chipotle is working to change the way Americans eat largely through an initiative it calls Food with Integrity. Under this program, Chipotle is constantly improving the ingredients it uses in its food, and uses ingredients one would normally associate only with the most elite fine dining restaurants.

The most significant improvements the company has made in this area are with its meats. Today, all of the pork Chipotle uses in its restaurants is naturally raised (coming from animals that are fed a pure vegetarian diet, never given hormones or antibiotics, and raised in a humane way on open pastures or in deeply bedded barns), as is more than half of its chicken, and 40 percent of its beef. In all, Chipotle is serving more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant in the country.

The company is also pursuing innovative programs to improve recruiting, staff development, and employee retention. Through its Restaurateur Program for example, it has created a very entrepreneurial structure for its best managers and given them meaningful incentives for employee development and their ability to produce additional sales at the restaurant level. With a pledge to hire managers only from within, it is creating more clearly defined career paths for its people while reducing turnover among managers and crew.

“Finding a company with a culture so rooted in constant improvement is very unusual,” Moran says. “At Chipotle, no ideas are out of bounds when it comes to making better tasting food, empowering our employees, providing better customer service, improving our restaurant operations, or running the business with greater efficiency. With this kind of culture, we can not only continue to improve the way people eat, but we can show that a company can do well by doing good.”

Moran holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a law degree from Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif. He joins fellow board members Ells, Albert S. Baldocchi, John S. Charlesworth, Patrick J. Flynn, and Darlene J. Friedman.

News, Chipotle