Produced by Madison Milano and Nichole Capizzi

How Chipotle is Changing the Way People Think About Fast Food

By: Madison Milano

Chipotle Mexican Grill opened in Denver, Colorado in 1993 with the goal to change the way people think about and eat fast food. Twenty-two years and more than 1,600 stores later, Chipotle is changing the way people eat fast food. They first did this with Food With Integrity – their commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers. In addition, Chipotle serves as much organic food as they can and as much local produce that is practical.

In order to lessen the food that they waste, Chipotle does about 75% of their preparation work in the morning before 3 p.m. and 25% after 3.p.m. Doing the majority of the prep in the morning helps eliminate waste at the end of the night. “We know that it’s not going to be enough to get through our day,” Taylor Milano, General Manager of a Chipotle in Plymouth Meeting, PA, “but it’s also not so much that we’re worried about having to hold it over night. We try to have nothing held overnight so that everything is prepared as fresh as possible.” They are able to use a back-of-house computer system that projects the amount of food that they will need to cook and serve each day.

When there is surplus food, it can be donated to the Harvest Program. Every Chipotle is able to have a harvest program that takes their donated food to other food banks or food pantries in their local community. “Our harvest program is important to us because we are able to donate food that we have left over.” Milano says, “Because it’s such an important thing to us where it comes from and how we prepare it and how we serve it, we like to know that we’re doing everything we can for the community moving forward.”

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