Though we all like to complain about fast food, we still enjoy it. For the people who like to complain about McDonald's not being real meat, we don't hear a peep as they shove that Big Mac in their mouths. But as our society comes to the realization of the harmful GMOs and unhealthy fats that are in these fast food options, healthier "quick" chains are popping up. One of the most popular ones known is the almighty Chipotle *cue the hallelujah chorus*. From the endless burrito bowl options to the $1.95 extra guacamole, the place has defiantly staked their claim. But after a worldwide scare with a deadly bacteria, how has the booming chain been able to reclaim it's spot back on top?
Chipotle was first created back in 1993 by Steve Ells with 16 locations all in Colorado. The company had a simple motto: "Show that food served fast didn't have to be a 'fast-food' experience." Since then the franchise has blossomed into a multi-billion dollar food empire. I can guarantee you there is a Chipotle within a 20-mile radius of where you are sitting reading this article. They are popping up on every corner across the country, and for good reason. Where else can you get organic "fast food" that doesn't hurt the diet or the wallet?
You are never out of options at this fast service Mexican restaurant. From burrito bowls to tacos or salads is only the beginning of the decision. Next, you must decide rice, meats, veggies and other toppings. It's a joyous process, trust me. I always go with my usual: burrito bowl with white rice, chicken, mild salsa, cheese and guacamole (perfecto).
The appeal comes from a few different elements that separate Chipotle from the generic fast food chains. Firstly, it's much healthier for you (organic and low fat) rather than a greasy burger and fries. Secondly, you are able to physically see your food being prepared/assembled. Contrary to the famous McDonald's rumor of the disgusting preparation of their foods -- you are able to see your meal being created.
In 2015, reports came out that a Chipotle on the East Coast had been responsible for more than 100 bacterial illnesses. And in 2016, the report became an entire epidemic. Hundreds of cases of E. Coli were being caused by one of the ingredients, and to this day, it is surprisingly still unknown as to what was the contaminant. But while some were deterred from the issue which has since resolved, their sales are better than ever. Probably due to the quite impressive steps they took to win back the trust of their loyal followers, from free meal coupons to closing all Chipotle stores for one day in order to teach their workers about work/health safety. These were excellent marketing tactics to show that they were attempting to learn from the mistake, rather than just ignoring it and moving forward.
Overall, I think that Chipotle will always be a top favorite restaurant in the U.S. nation. It meets with our society's two most important needs: efficiency and health. Today we are always rushing everywhere (be it work, school, or just daily life) and we need food we can grab quickly on the go. But now we can get that with a bit of a health twist. Why get greasy fast food when you can have delicious food that is better for you? We've been on a long journey with good old Chipotle. An emotional roller coaster of love, breaking our trust, and slowly earning it back (unlike my last relationship). It's a genius company paving the way for new fast food service. Let's stick with Chipotle and see where the journey takes us, shall we? #teamchipotle4life