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Essay on Marketing Opportunity: Chipotle Mexican Grill

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1.1 Brief History
Chipotle Mexican Grill originated in Denver, Colorado in 1993. In 1998, McDonald’s became the majority shareholder; however, in 2006, McDonald’s divested its controlling interest. Chipotle became a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006. It currently has 1,083 locations across the United States and Canada. In May 2010, Chipotle expanded into Europe, opening their first restaurant in the United Kingdom. (Form 10-K Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 2011)
1.2 Product Offering
Chipotle’s cuisine is Mexican. Their menu consists of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads prepared with fresh ingredients employing classic cooking methods. The customer proceeds down an assembly line choosing the various components of their meal as they proceed. They have recently created a children’s menu offering smaller portion sizes. They offer three types of meats: chicken, beef, and pork. Condiments include fajita vegetables, rice, two types of beans, four different salsas, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and lettuce.
The interior design of Chipotle’s restaurants is distinct. The contemporary design includes stainless steel table tops and sleek wooden chairs. The atmosphere is relaxed with music piped in from different genres.
1.3 Market Segment
Chipotle is classified in the restaurant industry as fast casual, a combination of the quick serve and the casual dining segments. Fast casual restaurants have the following attributes: high quality foods, upscale atmosphere, higher check averages between $7-$11, and pay at the counter (What exactly is fast casual?, 2008).
2.0 Market Opportunity Analysis
2.1 Market Trends
The restaurant industry grew to $403.5 billion in 2010, a growth of...


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...ll-thrifty-when-dining-out
Fast casual segment outperforms industry. (2011, March 15). Retrieved March 19, 2011, from Fast Casual: http://www.fastcasual.com/article/179973/fast-casual-segment-outperfomrs-industry?rc_id=312
Form 10-K Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (2011, February 17). Retrieved March 15, 2011, from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: http://www.sec.gov/archives/edgar/data/1058090/000119312511039010/d10k.htm#tx129308_27
National Restaurant Association reveals hottest menu trends in 2011. (2010, December 1). Retrieved March 19, 2011, from National Restaurant Association: http://www.restaurant.org/nra_news_blog/2010/12/national-restaurant-association-reveals-hottest-menu-trands-in-2011.cfm
What exactly is fast casual? (2008, January). Retrieved March 19, 2011, from Franshise Times: http://www.franchisetimes.com/content/store.php?article=00643



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