13 Things You Didn’t Know about Chipotle Mexican Grill

The super-popular chain still has a few tricks up its sleeve

Giles Christopher
Chipotle's stock is currently worth about $550 per share.

For many, Chipotle is what fast food should be: tasty, ethically responsible, not too expensive, and reasonably healthy. While you might think that you know everything there is to know about this mega-chain, there’s actually a lot out there that you’re probably not aware of.

13 Things You Didn’t Know About Chipotle Mexican Grill (Slideshow)

Chipotle was founded by Steve Ells, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, in 1993. He’d been inspired by the popular tacos and burritos he discovered in San Francisco’s Mission District while working there for chef Jeremiah Tower, and after securing an $85,000 loan from his mother, he opened the first Chipotle in a former ice cream shop near the University of Denver campus.

Ells estimated that he’d need to sell about 100 burritos per day to be profitable, but after a month he was selling more than 1,000. Knowing he had a good thing on his hands and fueled by an investment from his father and a Small Business Administration loan, he jettisoned his original idea of opening a fine-dining restaurant and focused on expansion, opening a second store in 1995 and a third shortly thereafter.

Without an investment from an unlikely source, however, the chain never would have grown to its current massive scale. In 1998, McDonald’s made its first investment in the company, and by 2001 it was a majority shareholder. There were 16 locations in 1998, and by 2005 there were more than 500. McDonald’s invested about $360 million into Chipotle in total, and when it divested itself in 2006 (as part of a larger effort to divest itself from all “non-core business restaurants” including Boston Market), its investment had grown to $1.5 billion. 

Today, Chipotle’s stock is worth around $550 per share, and in 2012 the company pulled in a net income of $278 million. It’s one of the fastest-growing companies of its type in the world, and everything from their menu, to the restaurant design, and the commitment to source its ingredients ethically has inspired a new generation of fast-casual dining. To learn some fascinating facts about the chain that will go down in history as one of the most revolutionary, read on.

They Own Shophouse

Chipotle owns Shophouse, a D.C.-based chain of “Southeast Asian Kitchens.”

There’s a Free Burrito Coin

Nobody is really sure if they’re still being issued or what you need to do in order to get one, but once upon a time, Chipotle would reward loyal customers with a real coin that could be redeemed for a free burrito.


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Pig slop.


My cousin worked there as a bilingual Mexican/American who has a college degree and has dual citizenship. The illegals working with him treated him badly because he was legal and the manager had him signing in and out for minimum wage and jockeyed to keep hours below 30 so he would never be full time. Employees are humiliated, abused and threatened if they need the work. I liked their food and speed.


One thing I do know about Chipolte,I would not feed my dog anything from there.


let's see to work there you have to be employees must be "polite, hospitable, smart, ambitious, curious, happy, respectful, honest, presentable, conscientious, motivated, infectiously enthusiastic, and have high energy. for $8hr. good luck getting a burrito without spit. also read the fine print. "natural only when available" that means they are only required 5% of their product to be natural to meet the minimum requirement, unless of course you want to pay $15 for the burrito


I buy almost everything except food and clothing from online auctions most people aren’t aware of the almost unbelievable deals that they can get from online auction sites the site that has the best deals is http://saveblast.com

I checked with the BBB and was told that it is all legit. How they can sell gift cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% off, I don’t know I do know that I bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Low gift

cards for $48Why would I even think about shopping anyþlace else?


The 15th thing you should know about Chipotle: They love their underpaid illegal workers. Chipotle's has been caught not once but several times hiring illegal workers. To date, they have spent millions of dollars in lawyers fees to defend themselves, while paying illegals less than minimum wage, requiring them to work as many as 60 hours a week, and providing no benefits whatsoever, and of course, since they work off the books, paying not one penny in payroll deductions.

Enjoy your next burrito, brought to you by overworked, underpaid, and untaxed illegals.


They do not treat their employees right at all..wheremy daughter worked she wasn't allowed to leave off the line to go to the restroom for 2 hours..Most of the managers are not trained and they tend to bully the eplyees..there is so much i could tell you.. But it isn't axact;y what it looks like ..more employees should be asked how they like Chipotle...my daughter was bullied and harrassed

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