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Why is Chipotle's so Popular?

razorsharprazorsharp Registered User Posts: 6,161 Senior Member
edited October 2011 in Parent Cafe
In 2005 its revenues were about $627 million. In 2010, revenues were about $1.8 billion. When I go into their stores, I see stainless steel everywhere. Boring. The food is ok but why are the lines so long? The food is expensive relative to other Mexican fast food. You don't even get free chips. I like the free refills but most places have that.

Qdoba is a similar restaurant but its success is limited.
A same size meal at Taco Bell will cost you half as much and give you more options.

I just don't get Chipotle. What does the rest of the world see about Chipotle that I don't?
Post edited by razorsharp on

Replies to: Why is Chipotle's so Popular?

  • BayBay Registered User Posts: 12,499 Senior Member
    I think it is because they assemble the meal in front of you, so it gives the customer the idea that it is "fresher," and ergo more healthy than regular fast Mexican food.
  • jambabyjambaby Registered User Posts: 690 Member
    To people who love Chipotle - what do you order? Just curious - I would like to give it another chance sometime.

    razorsharp, I have wondered the same thing - in my area we have Moe's Southwest Grill which I think is so much better. I have been to Chipotle one time, and since I love Moe's so much, Chipotle didn't measure up (can't speak for Taco Bell since I don't do fast food - Chik-fil-a is the only exception!). Maybe I just didn't order the right thing.
  • BayBay Registered User Posts: 12,499 Senior Member
    I am not a fan, so I have nothing to recommend. I prefer Del Taco.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 7,941 Senior Member
    There are so many good taquerias in our area, I did not think Chipotle is of the same quality and after trying it several times, we have stopped going.
  • NJTheatreMOMNJTheatreMOM Registered User Posts: 3,673 Senior Member
    Their website has a section, "Food With Integrity," that explains their support of sustainable agriculture, use of naturally raised meat, etc, etc.

    It seems that more and more people are coming to care about such things.
  • MizzBeeMizzBee Registered User Posts: 4,576 Senior Member
    I eat at both Chipotle and Qdoba. At Chipotle, the majority of their products are sources locally, so I am eating locally-grown food from workers that are paid well with some benefits. the beef is not filled with antibiotics, and I like the salsa. So laugh at me for thinking politics on the same level as taste, but I want to support my neighbors and this is one of the few chains that allows me to.

    I order the carnitas with black beans and corn salsa and one fo teh spicy salsas.

    That said, I would give my eye teeth to get a burrito as big as my arm from a local Mexican place, but I live in NW Indiana, so Chipotle it is.

    Taco Bell "meat" doesn't even have meat as the primary ingredient, though I am not opposed to a bite late on a weekend.
  • RobDRobD Registered User Posts: 5,061 Senior Member
    I never had Chipotle until this past spring. I'd had Moe's and we have good local Mexican options in the area so I didn't see the big deal. D has one near campus & raved about them. I started eating at Chipotle when I realized I had to stay gluten free. It's really hard to find a fast food or road food option that meets gluten free standards, but their burrito bowls fit the bill. And they're so yummy! They built one directly across from my office, so with online ordering I can walk out of my office and be back with lunch in 4 minutes if the traffic light cooperates.

    I also have a Qdoba within 2 blocks of my office. I like them as well & the taste is fairly similar.
  • coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
    >>The food is ok but why are the lines so long?<<

    Long lines to buy the food would suggest that many people find something about the food that is better than just "ok. I don't eat there a lot, but I've generally been pleased with the food on those occasions when I did.

    I don't place Chipotle in the same category as Del Taco or Taco Bell. It's custom-made burrito shop instead of a place that is cranking out mass-produced, homogenized tacos. Chipotle feels like a step higher than Del Taco on the restaurant hierarchy.
  • toledotoledo Registered User Posts: 4,819 Senior Member
    It's definitely not in the same league as Taco Bell. We didn't care for Chipotle the first time we went. I think you may have to try a few things on their menu in order to find something you will really like. I order a chicken or carnitas (pork) burrito with rice (no beans), and the mild salsa (diced tomatoes with cilantro). I love the seasonings in the meat and the cilantro. The burritos are huge, which many young people find appealing. Our store is always packed with high school and college students. I've only been to Moe's twice, as we don't have one in our city. I was overwhelmed with their choices and what I ordered ended up being just o.k. I'm sure I'd eventually find the right combination, but I don't go there often enough. I haven't been in a Taco Bell in 6 years, ever since Chipotle and Del Taco opened.
  • NYMomof2NYMomof2 Registered User Posts: 5,948 Senior Member
    I'd heard about Chipotle and was thrilled when they opened in our area. We've eaten there a couple of times (carryout; order on the web and avoid the lines). I thought the food was OK but oversalted. Our local burrito place is better.
  • bookreaderbookreader Registered User Posts: 1,894 Senior Member
    Chipotle fan here! My fav meal is a vegetarian burrito bowl. I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm not a fan of the seasoning they use in the meat. Also, they make great guacamole and it's included when you get a vegetarian bowl but it's an extra when you get a meat burrito bowl.

    We do have a Moe's near us but I don't care for their seasoning as much. The free chips are nice, but I'm not a big fan of their salsa, so the chips aren't that enticing.

    Where I live, we have very few Mexican options. I don't know if we have a Taco Bell nearby. Chipotle is very popular here.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    Ew, how can you possibly compare Chipotle's to Taco Bell? Taco Bell is disgusting and i wouldnt eat there if you paid me. I've only eaten at Chipotle once or twice, but it's decent for what it is.
  • trojanchick99trojanchick99 Registered User Posts: 712 Member
    I live in Southern California, so I have no shortage of good Mexican food. Chipotle is quite popular though, but I'm not a fan. I don't like the way they season their meat. However, we just got a FreeBirds and damn I love that place. Similar concept of build your own burrito, but I love the seasoning here.

    As for tacos, it's King Taco or Chano's for me. I try to avoid Taco Bell if I can.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 32,797 Senior Member
    Why is it popular? Because Cramer says so. Putting the right spin and creating the right image is sometimes more important than the quality of food.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,934 Senior Member
    Didn't like it at all and thought it was overpriced and I somehow had no options for a smaller, lighter meal at a correspondingly lower price. Part of my issue was clearly the particular one we visited- not too clean, the food in the prep area wasn't neatly or attractively presented- and looked uninviting. And, the staff acted harried and impatient.

    Spin only works to get you in the door- one time. I've also been spoiled by S. CA local joints.
This discussion has been closed.