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December 14, 2011 I. Introduction to Chipotle
Chipotle Mexican Grill is a leading force in its commitment to buy food from sustainable sources that do not have a negative impact on its menu pricing. Besides leading the way in the fast casual dining experience, it also supports farming initiatives that develop and practice best standards. Chipotle is also active in its environmental commitment to working to reduce its carbon footprint by reducing its reliance on fossil fuels through the implementation of various environmental initiatives, including green building and depending on solar power energy. It is also well known for its philanthropic activities, including its
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Chipotle has continued to grow, today has 1,100 locations in 39 states, Toronto and Ontario, Canada, and London, England; its net income in 2010 was $178 million, and it has a staff of 26,500 employees (2010 Form 10-K, Chipotle). II. Identification of the Industry and Competitors
Industry Definition and Competitors
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) is a quick-service and casual Mexican-inspired restaurant chain based out of Denver, Colorado. The company takes pride in doing a few things exceptionally well: To serve high quality and delicious food quickly with an experience that not only exceeded, but redefined the fast food experience. Chipotle focuses on sourcing the best possible ingredients, serving the tastiest food, and growing the most capable team possible.
Steve Ells started Chipotle in 1993, and expanded the chain to over 400 stores within 12 years. Chipotle is supported by the financial power and sprawling distribution network of owner McDonald 's Corp, and is the largest Mexican-style concept among a number of fast-casual competitors that also have been picked up by quick-service companies in recent years (Peters, 2005).
Major competitors include other Mexican fast casual locations such as Baja Fresh, Del Taco, Qdoba Grill, and market leader Taco Bell. Additional competitors in the broader market include other fast casual locations such as Panera Bread

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