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Chipotle Restaurant Review

Updated November 18, 2021
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Chipotle Restaurant Review essay

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Chipotle identifies core business attributes like simple menu, fast and personalized fresh food with local sourcing (Merkley, 2017). I think Chipotle can differentiate itself from the competitive fast casual restaurant market because of its business model attributes of fresh and locally available ingredients. With these attributes, the expansion of the chipotle happened from being a single store front to different other locations. But the recent food poisoning issues affecting many people led to doubting the quality of the food.

Chipotle needs to regain the loyalty of the customers by providing quality food and better customer experience in order to differentiate itself from the competitors. Quality creates brand loyalty amongst consumers. I think the fast casual restaurants are booming because of the shift of the attitude of the consumers drifting towards the health consciousness by avoiding highly processed foods. Consumers, mostly millennials despite seeking options for cheaper products are also much more willing to pay more for specific attributes in food, such as natural, ethnic and specialty foods (Hoffman, 2012).

Chipotle is already in this line of business strategy of using non GMO and hormone free ingredients (Merkley, 2017). The other strategy could be changing the menu by adding ingredients which add more nutrition to already existing nutritional value. However, the added ingredients should fulfil the attribute of taste. Developing and implementing marketing plans and strategies based off these strategies could help chipotle differentiate itself. In fact any company can only win by fine tuning the quality value, providing, and communicating superior value to increasingly well informed buyers.

I think that standard processes are required for any company. Chipotle has the elements of fine dining and convenience in combination with the quick service and creation of value. Value creation could be attained by following standard processes, both in operations and sourcing. I think for any process, the best way to reduce risk is by identifying the problem and performing root cause analysis strategy of the problem. If the cause of the problem is identifies it is easy to mitigate the risk associated with it. Risk being the chances of food poisoning here, the cause could be how the way the operation of food delivery or the ingredients in the food itself.

The operation of serving the food involves multiple servers for constructing a burrito or a bowl. Since many personnel are involved in this proper, employees must clean their hands before serving. The initiative of paying the sick employees by giving them off for the symptoms of sickness to fade off is a good strategy for improving the operational standards (Merkley, 2017). The other concern of ingredients leading to food poisoning is acquisition of the ingredients by sourcing them to suppliers and third party distributors. Setting quality standards for the suppliers and third party distributions could be good strategy. But the problem could arise if their standards are not in compliance with the quality standards set by Chipotle.

Forming tie-ups with the local farmers and providing the data of required standards to them could act like a solution with the supplier deficiency problem. In this way, the ingredients could be acquired for cheap price too. Forming a business unit for quality check approving the supplier or the third part distribution agency by supplier quality assessment could be a good strategy. Chipotle has already set an example of alignment business and operating model. If this alignment goes to the core competency by getting the alignment with supplier quality or local farmers, it could again gain the trust of the consumers.

Consumers are always curious to know the source of the food. Implementing marketing strategies by reaching out to them with the adopting standard processes for operations and sourcing could make a strong brand messaging by adding value to its consumers. Along with this, incorporating new ingredients, which has more nutritional value or adopting procedures which retain most nutrients thus having high food value, are some of the value adding techniques. In the case of Chipotle, although burrito looks same after the food safety changes, consumers should be made aware of the quality standard changes to ensure food safety.

I think the implementing the product changes by making changes to the menu by offering extra ingredients within the same pricing of the burrito or bowl could attract new customers. Also, including the bowl options categorizing on the type of food like: vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, paleo diet could attract new set of customers. I don’t think many process changes are required because the business model of customizing options creates flexibility and conveniences to the customers.

However, instead of having the standard operational service having provided by servers, the strategy of self-servicing buffet style filling the bowl or burrito by conducting marketing research and identifying the target customers seeking a change in the style of service could be a good strategy too. Demonstrating these changes can be done by advertising and reaching out to other big organizations by catering the lunch or dinner arrangements. For instance, I work in big organization where we have lunches every other week for our whole team. Through the initial catering strategy, the changes made in the product and process could easily reach out to the customers like me.

For any organization, customer’s satisfaction is important for the performance of the organization. Marketing play a pivotal role in helping companies to deliver high-quality goods to customers and gain customers’ loyalty. With the chipotle’s, food poisoning affect, the trust was disrupted and as a promotional event to portray changes in the food safety, it started to give away free meals to attract customers. However, this alone wouldn’t suffice to regain trust from them. Marketing research can be conducted by marketing team gathering the information by real time feedbacks and conducting consumer behavior studies in the current market environment.(text).

Other promotional strategies could be advertising the scenes of conversations with local farmers on the screens of the chipotle locations. The marketing management should start focusing on the customer relationship management like building deeper understanding of relationships with customers and reaching out to the target customers. Many customers are influenced by the practices that ensure environmental sustainability. So, by highlighting the operation processes would likely make the messaging authentic. For instance, I am one amongst the customers who thinks of environmental responsibility, thus cows raised and fed on dairy farms, and cage free eggs serve as the evidence of company’s efforts at reducing carbon footprint at various steps in the value chain. Hence, a sound marketing system reaching out to the customers being able to advertise the new strategies adopted would be able to rebuild trust with the customers.

Firms need to be updated whenever any new trend starts and copycats become competitive. But, good taste and best service win the market. Chipotle has already gained the customer loyalty from past decades. The recent events happening might seem like driving the consumers away. Even though, many copycats come into market, the same standard and the same service is not provided by the food chains with the similar products. Adopting the marketing strategy, by showing this difference with the other copycats and highlighting it by advertising could retain it loyal customers. I think even if other companies adopt customizable attribute to their food chain restaurant, Chipotle’s core competency of fresh food from local sourcing gains the market value. Including variety of options accessible to all sets of food type customers with enhanced quality could gain loyalty even from the consumers with fickle taste and requirement of multiple options to choose from.

The distinguishing feature of the Chipotle is its location selection. The location selection mainly targets the shopping malls and near movie theatres. I think the plan is to target the large population. I think, it will get the prime mover advantage compared to other competition. Chipotle is doing well with whole meal price accessible to majority of the customers. The provision of coupons and rebates creates attraction to the customer. The quality food with customizable options and the ambience appealing to any customer who enters the location.

At the end of the day, any restaurant which gains customer satisfaction attracts more business. I think this can be achieved by resolving the customer complaints as soon as possible. Providing free meal coupons for the inconvenience could be good strategy to gain trust. I think it could do better by changing the ambience of the restaurant, where customers will be coming to the restaurant to try out the fresh look of the ambience. Chipotle can keep up over other market competition by innovating approaches of advertising, highlighting the key features by maintaining transparency and reducing the prices by giving discounts.

References

  1. Hoffman, B. (2012, September 14). How ‘Millennials’ Are Changing Food as We now It. Retrieved from www.forbes.com: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2012/09/04/how-millenials-are-changing-food-as-we-know-it/#35
  2. Peter, J. P. & Donnelly, J. H. (2019).  A Preface to Marketing Management, 15th ed.  New York:  McGraw-Hill Education.
  3. Merkley, Russell WalkerGreg. “Chipotle Mexican Grill: Food with Integrity?” Harvard Business Review, 2017, hbr.org/product/chipotle-mexican-grill-food-with-integrity/KEL979-PDF-ENG.
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