Chipotle Mexican Gill is a sleek, modern, gourmet restaurant in the growing sector of fast-casual dining. Coupons and buy one, get one deals make dining at Chipotle even more affordable. For lunch in a rush or a casual dinner, Chipotle combines the convenience and casual no reservations necessary atmosphere of fast-food restaurants with high-quality gourmet Mexican food made from fresh, natural, and locally sourced ingredients.
History of Chipotle Mexican Gill
The first Chipotle location was opened in 1993 in a converted Dolly Madison ice cream parlor near the University of Denver campus. Before opening his burrito shop, founder Steve Ells attended the Culinary Institute of America and subsequently learned the art of burrito making in the prestigious hotel kitchens of San Francisco. With hopes of selling 100 burritos per day, Ells opened the first Chipotle location though a loan from his dad. The burrito shop caught on and within one month Ells was selling 1,000 burritos daily. In 1998, McDonald’s invested in the growing burrito company, which allowed them to expand nationwide. McDonald’s relinquished their stake after Chipotle went public in 2006. Today, the company operates more than 1,000 restaurants across the U.S. with additional restaurants in major Canadian cities. Chipotle recently expanded operations by constructing a new location in London. In keeping with the Chipotle tradition, many of their most popular restaurants are located near major universities. Each Chipotle restaurant has a different design, yet they all contain one photo of the original location in the former Dolly Madison ice cream store.
Why Chipotle is Different
The menu at Chipotle is deceivingly simple. With four serving options, five protein choices, fresh toppings, and sides, there are thousands of possible flavor combinations for every burrito, taco or bowl. At Chipotle, burritos are built while you watch. Because every burrito is created on demand, you get to customize every part of the entree. Regular chipotle fans return again and again for the generous portions, fresh ingredients, and addictive flavors. Veteran patrons recommend cutting the large, fully-loaded burritos in half and saving the second part for another meal.
How to Order at Chipotle
For convenience, Chipotle offers pick-up, take-out, and sit-down dining service. Restaurants accept orders online, by fax, or through a downloadable iPhone application. Online ordering makes the customization process simple even for large groups. Cases and large quantities of burritos can also be ordered online for corporate events and parties. In addition to the burrito bar and Mexican grill, many Chipotle restaurants serve alcoholic beverages, margaritas, and specialty beer in addition to standard soft drinks.
Chipotle’s menu allows patrons to create non-traditional tacos and burritos with any toppings they choose. To customize a taco, try adding unexpected toppings like a serving of rice or beans. The a la carte menu and ordering system at Chipotle affects the pricing of burritos made with meat and double portions of meat. Not all sides are free; some toppings, such as guacamole, have a small surcharge. Chipotle offers traditional spiced black beans as well as non-vegetarian pinto beans, which are made from organically farmed produce. For gluten-free dining, simply eliminate flour tortillas and avoid toppings that may contain wheat.
To build your own burrito, Chipotle offers four customized serving options:
Meat choices at Chipotle Mexican Grill include:
- slow-roasted pulled pork carnitas.
- adobo marinated chunks of slow-roasted chicken.
- meaty chucks of high-quality, hormone-free beef.
- traditional spiced Mexican barbecue or barbacoa.
- meat-free options for vegetarians and vegans.
Four flavors of gourmet salsa at Chipotle include:
- mild fresh tomato salsa or Pico de gallo
- medium-hot roasted corn and chili salsa.
- moderately hot tomatillo-green chili salsa.
- spicy tomatillo and red chili salsa.
Special toppings and sides include:
- sour cream.
- shredded cheese.
- hot sauce.
- fresh lettuce.
- corn chips.
Chipotle’s Dedication to Quality
Since 2001, Chipotle has shown their commitment to sourcing local and ethically produced ingredients by purchasing natural beef, chicken, and other meat products produced without antibiotics, growth hormones, or harmful feed additives. To benefit the community, Chipotle prefers to work with small, family-owned farms and cooperatives. As part of Chipotle’s Food with Integrity policy, milk used to produce the company’s cheese, sour cream, and dairy products is also produced without antibiotics or bovine growth hormone. In addition to eco-friendly food sourcing, Chipotle has constructed several innovative green restaurants featuring solar power, wind power, and energy efficient improvements.
Chipotle Children’s Menu
Most recently, Chipotle began testing a children’s menu with smaller portions and lower prices. The Chipotle children’s menu was first introduced in Minnesota with plans to go nationwide by the end of 2010. As part of the program’s unveiling, Chipotle is offering a free kids-meal with every adult burrito purchase at specified stores. Options from the new Chipotle children’s menu include quesadillas, tacos, and do-it-yourself taco kits.
Chipotle Promotions and Advertisements
For the past 15 years, Chipotle has relied largely on word of mouth and grass roots promotions as well as local advertisements on billboards and the radio. Chipotle’s latest advertising campaign ironically targets their anonymous ad agency. Each ad in the series suggests that Chipotle isn’t another chain restaurant who will follow the advice of a marketing authority; Chipotle is solely focused on making the best burrito starting with the best ingredients. Chipotle also sponsors the Chipotle Fan-Antics program that showcases Chipotle lovers young and old enjoying their favorite Chipotle fare. Submissions are archived in the Chipotle Fan-Antics gallery, and there’s a chance you could appear on company menus, promotion material, and publications. To join Chipotle Fan-Antics, upload your favorite photo directly to the company’s submission page.
Chipotle Coupon Codes and Online Promotions
To take advantage of special coupons and burrito giveaways, order online or register for a Chipotle account. The company will use your personal information to send out customer appreciation gifts, free burrito certificates, promotional coupons, new product incentives, and other member bonuses. For non-members, printable Chipotle coupons are also available online.
Local Chipotle Coupons & Promotions
Traditionally, Chipotle runs promotional programs for the holidays. Free burrito days and burrito giveaways for patrons who dress in burrito Halloween costumes are among the fun promotions Chipotle has sponsored. To promote their services, Chipotle frequently distributes promotional coupons and free guacamole vouchers on college campuses. Student may also be eligible for perks like free drinks depending on the location. In the community, Chipotle has partnered with universities, sports teams, youth groups, and other organizations to provide free burritos as well as program funding. Chipotle typically distributes promotional coupons when opening new locations. In 2010, Chipotle plans to open more than 120 new restaurants and roll-out their children’s menu nationwide. Chipotle has also announced plans for a customer loyalty program, but details have not been released.
Chipotle specializes in casual dining and providing good, affordable Tex-Mex food quickly. The company’s carefully selected soundtrack and the restaurants’ modern design give Chipotle restaurants an upbeat, energetic atmosphere. The intuitive ordering system and organized layout makes ordering and selecting toppings easy. For first-time diners, the number of customization options and toppings can be a little overwhelming. Veteran diners recommend starting with the enormous Chipotle burrito for volume and value.