Things I did not know about Chipotle

This may be old news, but I learned a lot watching this interview with Chipotle’s founder, Steve Ells, and Polyface Farms’ Joel Salatin.

Nightline interview of Chipotle founder, Steve Ells, and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin
Nightline interview of Chipotle founder, Steve Ells (Source: Chipotle Seeks New Model for Quality Fast Food)

Pretty much all I knew, or thought I knew, about Chipotle was that they were somehow owned by McDonalds. That knowledge always made me feel a little guilty about eating there (on the rare occasions that the FM Engineering team treks out to 1st and Market for lunch). Turns out I can rest easy.

Here are some of the juicier tidbits from the video:

“870 Chipotle restaurants and counting”

Joel: “They get to fully express their pigness. This fully respects and honors the pigness of the pig.”

“Chipotle is one of Joel’s biggest customers”

“After cooking school in 1993 he opened his first Chipotle, a burrito shop in Denver. It was supposed to be his stepping stone to a real restaurant.”

“McDonalds was the major investor in Chipotle, until it sold its shares in 2006 [after seven years]”

The video above was produced in June 2009, but there’s also a good article in the Washington Post that predates it by more than a year, discussing the relationship between Chipotle and Polyface: In Trial Run, Chipotle Heads to the Farm.

In the course of writing this post, I stopped by Chipotle’s website, and my eyes were immediate drawn to the bottom center of the page. How many “fast food” chains do you think are promoting the movie Food, Inc. on their homepage?

Chipotle highlighting the movie Food, Inc. on their homepage

How many fast food chains have a whole page on their website dedicated to Food, Inc.?

Chipotle website page decidated to the movie Food, Inc.

Color me impressed.

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