Monday, November 5, 2007

Why Chipotle? Why not?

Great food! And, perhaps, the best design in the industry. It's simple, easy, intuitive, and sophisticated with no "gimmicks". These stores will be as cool 30 years from now as they are today. They get their inspiration from fine dining and have extrapolated from that inspiration an atmosphere of cool, simple & clean 'lines' with a mix of a modern and natural "feel" - almost a "southwest" 'vibe'. And the music hit's the spot! I find their mix of 'soul', contemporary indie and classic music mix a perfect fit and juxtaposition to what their doing. Playing ethnic music would be painfully obvious. FINALLY someone get's the music right, both in terms of volume and content! Starbucks sometimes gets it right, and sometimes you have to leave the store. Literally! Especially w/ the latest infusion of smooth jazz ala Kenny G and Paul McCartney. I mean, great guys, fine people, upstanding citizens, etc, etc...but it's just killing me (and all the partners I've talked to at Starbucks...)

Chipotle will do well for the following reasons:

1. Their food! This is the first and foremost reason they are a "player". It simply tastes good, it's one of the best values, if not 'thee' best value in the industry and you can rest assure yourself that you're buying and consuming the best ingredients available this industry has to offer - at least on this scale. And it's warm...mmmmmm

2. Their efficiencies: Chipotle is getting, well, more efficient. One of their number one priorities - how do you move the line faster (and there's always a line) w/out denigrating the experience? Their 3rd quarter over quarter financial results are testament to this. Not only are they opening more stores, but their just getting faster delivering you really good 'fast food'!!!!

3. Labor costs. You could discover labor % to sales statistics that are better in few places.

4. Design. I mean the whole enchillada, err...burrito. Music, smiling and highly efficient and hard working managers, great floor plans, and amazing overall design. I love going into a place that has great music, serves great, hot and somewhat healthy and 'more conscious' food than the 'next guy' for $6 (w/ tap water) all the while providing a venue that makes you feel good to be in.

For 20o8 they have one thing working against them: rising commodity prices for late '07 and into and through 2008. In other words, corn is getting more expensive. So, their might be price increases, but who knows, maybe we'll all have to get more efficient with our own financial efficiencies - namely, eating cheaper...

Burrito, anyone?

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