Chain Store Guide Through The AgesAddress:
1401 Wynkoop Street, Suite 500
DENVER, CO 80202


Internet Homepage:

Total Current Locations:

Trading Areas:
Most U.S. states, Canada, England, France, Germany

2012 Sales:

Senior Executives:
Chairman, Co-CEO: Steve Ells
Co-CEO: Montgomery Moran
CFO: John Hartung

Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the true success stories in the U.S. over the past two decades. Founded by Steve Ells in 1993, the motto and the mission for the company is Food With Integrity. Whenever possible, products used in the restaurants are organic, locally sourced, and sustainably produced. Food is prepared to order from ingredients that have been prepped and cooked on site.

Chipotle Mexican GrillElls was a Culinary Institute of America graduate working as a line cook when he developed the concept that would become Chipotle. In 1998 McDonald’s Corporation became a minority investor, and by 2001 it was the largest investor, providing the financial wherewithal for the company to quickly expand. Growing from just 16 locations at the time of the initial investment to more than 500 restaurants at the end of 2005, the company made its initial public offering in early 2006. Later that year, McDonald’s divested its non-core holdings, and Chipotle has been functioning as an independent entity since, trading on the New York Stock Exchange as CMG.

Unlike many of its fast-casual competitors, Chipotle does not franchise. All locations are corporately-owned and -operated, allowing the company to maintain tight control over quality and service. Hoping to capitalize on its success, the company is slowly rolling out a new concept  patterned after the Chipotle business model, Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen.

The company continues its explosive growth, opening 129 new restaurants in the first nine months of 2013, bringing the total locations to 1,539 at the end of the third quarter. The formula the company follows obviously works:  stock that five years ago traded for $39.30 per share is now worth more than $530.00 per share.


CSG 80 YearsThis year, Chain Store Guide celebrates its 80th anniversary. In honor of this occasion, we are hosting a monthly series of editorials called “Chain Store Guide Through The Ages”, starting with the 1930s. We will take a look at what was happening in that time and how it affected the industries we now serve. Our Company Snapshots will examine companies from that period and see where they are today.

*Image courtesy of: Andy Franklin via Flickr