Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., simply known as Chipotle, is an American chain of fast-casual restaurants in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France. It mainly specializes in tacos and mission-style burritos, and its name is derived from Chipotle, the Nahuatl name for smoked and dried Jalapeno Chili Pepper. Chipotle trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CMG.

Steve Ells founded Chipotle on July 13, 1993, and it had 16 restaurants, all located in Colorado, and McDonald’s Corporation became a major investor in 1998. However, McDonald’s divested itself from Chipotle in 2006, but the chain had grown to over 500 locations. Chipotle later announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters to Newport Beach, California, in Southern California in the year 2018, which ended their 25 years with Denver.

Chipotle has, however, faced competitions from other dining establishments in the fast-casual Mexican market such as Qdoba Mexican Grill, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Rubio’s Coastal Grill among others. Most of the establishment collapse after some time; however, chipotle has stood the test of time.


Chipotle was founded on 13 July 1993 by Steve Ells, who attended the culinary institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He later became a line cook for Jeremiah Tower at Stars in San Francisco, where he observed the popularity of taquerias and San Francisco burritos in the mission district. He later opened the first Chipotle Mexican Grill in Denver, Colorado, in 19993.  The Chipotle was located in a former Dolly Madison Ice Cream store at 1644 East Evans Avenue near the University of Denver.  He used an $85000 loan from his father.

After one month in operation, chipotle was selling over 1000 burritos a day, and this led to the opening of the second store in 1995 using chipotle’s cash flow. The third store was opened using an SBA loan, and Ells’ father invested $1.5 million to fund more growth. Ells later created a board of directors and a business plan, which raised an additional $1.8 million for the company.

The first restaurant was opened in Kansas City, Missouri in 1998. The company later opened its first location in Minnesota by opening near the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in March 1999. McDonald’s made an initial minority investment in the company in 1998, and by 2001 it was Chipotle’s largest investor. This led to the expansion of the restaurants from 16 in 1998 to 500 restaurants in 2005.

Monty Moran was appointed as president and chief operating officer of chipotle in March 2005 while Steve Ells remained chairman and CEO. McDonald’s later divested from chipotle in 2006. Monty Moran has promoted to co-CEO a position he shared with Steve Ells; however, he maintained his president position. In 2009 Chipotle was ranked eighth in a list of first growing restaurant chains, based on increases in U.S sales in the past year.

In 2010 Chipotle was ranked third, and in 2011, Consumer Reports ranked Chipotle as the best Mexican fast-food chain. Chipotle hired Chef Nate Appleman to develop new cuisine in 2010. Chef Nate was named Best New Chef by the Food and Wine magazine and competed on the Next Iron Chef. U.s immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) audited chipotle’s Minneapolis restaurants in 2010 and found some employees had been hired using fraudulent documents.

Chipotle later fired 450 employees due to the audit from its Minneapolis restaurants, which resulted in protests by local groups. Chipotle’s co-CEO Monty Moran stepped down from his role in December 2016, leaving Steve Ells as the sole CEO. However, he later announced in November 2017 that he would be stepping down as CEO.

Chipotle later announced that Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol would replace Steve Ells as CEO while Steve would retain his position as chairman. In May 2018, chipotle announced the relocation of its headquarters from Denver to Newport Beach, California, in southern California. The company later announced, through the new CEO Brian Niccol, the closure of 65 underperforming restaurants.


Although chipotle has faced several challenges in its operation, it has always seemed to get back to normal services. Chipotle opened its first location outside the United States in 2008, in Toronto. In December 2012, it opened its first Canadian location outside Toronto. Chipotle rapidly expanded, and as of 2018, it had 11 locations in Toronto, 2 in Vaughan Mississauga, 1 in Oakville, and 1 location in Markham.

Chipotle later expanded to Europe with the first restaurant opening in May 2010 in London. The second location opened in 2011 in London, and additional locations were opened in the following three years. Chipotle expanded to France with its first location opening in Paris in May 2012.

However, the expansion in France was much slower than Canada and the United Kingdom, with its second location opening in 2013 and the third location in 2014. In 2015 the largest Chipotle location in the world was opened at La defense. In August 2013, chipotle opened its first location in Germany at Frankfurt’s Skyline Plaza shopping mall. The second location in Germany was opened in Frankfurt’s Myzeil shopping mall in April 2019.

Awards and achievements

Chipotle has been greatly honored as one of the best first-food restaurants in the world. The company has been awarded several awards including;

The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, German Stevie Awards. Middle East Stevie Awards, The Stevie Awards For Sales And Customer Service, The Stevie Awards For Women In Business, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, and The Stevie Awards For Great Employers.

Net worth of Chipotle in 2024

Chipotle Net Worth
Chipotle Net Worth

As of July 2024, The net worth of chipotle is estimated to be $6 billion. They have made their revenues through Chipotle chains of restaurants. The restaurants are located in more than 2000 locations in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Germany, and France.

Many companies rise up, become famous, and after some time, they collapse, but chipotle has remained standing despite the challenges. It has proven to be the best first food restaurant all the time.


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