The Chipotle Effect is a long work of passion by industry leader and Fast Casual restaurant pioneer Paul Barron, tracking the restaurant segment since 1993 and eventually founding Fastcasual.com. Each day, from now until the end of December, we will be giving away a signed, digital copy of the Chipotle Effect which also includes video bonus features.
Take a look at the sample chapter below for a sneak peak of what you'll get:
Chipotle may not have fired the first shot in the fast casual revolution, but the fresh Mexican chain is certainly the most famous of the founding fathers. Launched by Steve Ells in a space near the University of Denver in 1993, the restaurant grew quickly, open-ing its second location in 1995 and continuing its expansion first with a loan from Ells’s father and later with a $1.8 million Small Business Administration loan. Ells, who had no business back- ground, had clearly tapped into an unmet need among diners for healthful, fresh Mexican cuisine, and the Chipotle brand began to take shape: sustainably sourced ingredients, a simple menu, and impeccable quality.
In 1999, Ells opened his first restaurants outside of Colorado, but it was interest from McDonald’s Corporation that was the magic bullet for the company’s growth. The fast-food titan first approached Ells in 1997 and became a minority investor a year later. Contrary to popular belief, McDonald’s did not buy Chipotle but did become its largest investor, sinking more than $360 million into the chain over seven years and helping Chipotle make use of its proven distribution system. By 2005 the chain had more than 500 company-owned restaurants, and in January of 2006 it made its initial public stock offering (IPO), the stock doubling in value on the first day of trading. Read More