W1A1 Chipotle Mexican Grill Strategy Im

Topics: Organic food, Fast casual restaurant, Chipotle Mexican Grill Pages: 6 (1374 words) Published: November 15, 2014

Chipotle Mexican Grill Strategy Improvements
Karla Diaz
St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, FL

Chipotle Mexican Grill Strategy Improvements
The fast-casual dining industry has expanded within recent years, but one sub-segment set for the largest growth is the fast-casual Mexican dining niche (LaVecchia, 2003). More recently, top competitors such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Taco Bell and Qdoba have invested valuable resources in separating themselves from their quick serve competitors. All of these companies present specific strategic strengths. However, the one factor they all have in common is the goal of being able to serve their customers quality food in a significantly reduce amount of time. Case Analysis

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s strategy is to change the way people evaluate and consume fast food. This is accomplished by using high quality and organic ingredients (based on local availability), having open floor plans to include the kitchen, and serving customers quickly. Moe’s Southwest Grill’s strategy for growth is to divide the nation into separate tiers, and evaluate just how much growth they can pursue (Cebrzynski, 2008). Moe’s uses techniques such as promotional items, and rewards cards to launch the franchise. Taco Bell’s focus is menu expansion by changing the menu often. According to Hammer (2012) Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed stated, "Our customers told us they want a more relevant Taco Bell, and we've taken numerous steps focusing on our food and improving the customer experience.” Qdoba has their strategy set to become the most successful Mexican fast casual restaurant (Cavanaugh, 2002). They follow very closely to Chipotle in their operations. Out of all these competitors, Chipotle’s strategy has proven to be a winner as it has allowed Chipotle to remain a top competitor and industry leader in the fast-casual marketplace. Their organic products have allowed them to stay on top of changes in America’s new healthy diets. The open floor plan has reduced the amount of time it takes to prepare meals, therefore, increasing the throughput to 300 customers per hour (Thomas, 2012). Lastly, by keeping all of their locations company-owned, they have been able to operate debt-free (Thomas, 2012). Table 1 – Competitors and Strengths

Moe’s Southwest Grill
Promotions/Offerings, more customizable options, dessert
Taco Bell
Large menu selection, low prices, longer hours
Large menu selection, rewards cards, breakfast

Table 1 contains a list of all the strengths for each of Chipotle’s top competitors. Even though Chipotle has a winning strategy there are additional recommendations that can be given for them to launch their company further. The first recommendation would be to have more promotions, discounts and rewards cards. This would not only allow for more new and repeat customers into their locations, but would also help in getting Chipotle’s name more recognizable. This would work especially well in college towns and heavily populated areas. The second recommendation would be to increase the amount of toppings available making their foods more customizable. Additional topping options that should be included are tomatoes, jalapenos, brown rice, mushrooms and black olives which will extend the variety of combinations they can offer. Due to the fact Chipotle obtains most of its foods from organic wholesalers they could work with these wholesalers to obtain these additional items when feasible. Third, expanding their menu to include additional options with ingredients they already have would make them more appealing. Such menu additions can be things like quesadillas and nachos. All of the fillings and equipment to make these options are in the restaurants. The only thing that would be an added cost would be the chips for the nachos. These recommendations will allow Chipotle to expand their strategic advantage...

References: (2011). Moe’s Southwest Grill. Retrieved from http://www.moes.com/
(2013). Chipotle Mexican Grill. Retrieved from http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/Default.aspx
(2014). Qdoba Mexican Grill. Retrieved from http://www.qdoba.com/
Cavanaugh, B. B. (2002). Qdoba Mexican Grill. Nation’s Restaurant News, 36(4), p168. http://db24.linccweb.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=6011931&site=ehost-live
Cebrzynski, G. (2008). Upstart Concepts Conquer New Markets With Caution. Nation’s Restaurant News, 42(37), p4. http://ehis.ebscohost.com.db24.linccweb.org/ehost/ detail?vid=5&sid=b9091c2a-8dff-405b-8a53-03a90b056a86%40sessionmgr111&hid= 105&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bft&AN=510863737
Hammer, M. (2012). Taco Bell Gets a More Relevant Attitude. Adweek, 53(10), pH9. http://ehis.ebscohost.com.db24.linccweb.org/ehost/detail?vid=3&sid=b9091c2a-8dff-405b-8a53-03a90b056a86%40sessionmgr111&hid=105&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc 3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bft&AN=73340034
LaVecchia, G. (2003). Fast Casual Enters the Fast Lane. Restaurant Hospitality, 87(2), p43-50. http://ehis.ebscohost.com.db24.linccweb.org/ehost/detail?vid=9&sid=b9091c2a-8dff-405b-8a53-03a90b056a86%40sessionmgr111&hid=4113&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3 QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bft&AN=510305813
Thomas, A. (2012). Chipotle Mexican Grill in 2012: Can It Hit a Second Home Run? pC114-C126. Retrieved from http://www.bsg-online.com/Book2014/#
Thomas, A. (2014). Strategy: Core Concepts and Analytical Approaches. Retrieved from http://www.bsg-online.com/Book2014/#
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