Cheers to Chipotle

image courtesy of Chipolte

Cheers to Chipotle
| Published April 18, 2014 |

By Krista Tani
Thursday Review contributor

Job-hunting can be daunting to say the least. After spending hours boosting my resume and filling out at least 15 online applications, I felt good. As the days wore on with not one response, my optimism began to dwindle. After several unsuccessful follow-up calls, I found myself anxiously searching for a summer job yet again.

I have successfully avoided working in the food-service industry up to this point, but I was getting desperate. I saw an opening at Chipotle. “Okay, I like burritos,” I thought to myself. “This could work.” I applied and got an interview the next day.

To spoil the ending, I didn’t get the job. But I walked away thoroughly impressed with Chipotle’s approach to food service. Their reason for not hiring me only increased my respect for the company. Each new hire costs Chipotle a large amount of money—significantly more than the average fast-food chain is willing to spend. Chipotle is all about quality and they know that quality training makes all the difference. They don’t hire seasonal workers because they heavily invest time and resources into each employee to ensure quality in their restaurants.

Chipotle fosters its employees and encourages them to grow and succeed. Opportunities for promotions abound and nearly all of their corporate and management staff started at the bottom. This means that almost every individual at every level of the company is more equipped to make decisions and manage their staff because they’ve been there.

With quality staff comes quality customer service. During my interview, the manager emphasized the importance of not just meeting customers’ needs, but going above and beyond to ensure a positive experience. And I knew this wasn’t just the manager trying to put a good face on her restaurant. I have never had a bad experience at Chipotle. In fact, the kindness of the employees has brightened my day on more than one occasion.

Chipotle’s people culture is, in a word, awesome. But what about their food? The restaurant delivers on this front as well. They use hormone-free meat, primarily organic vegetables, and source locally whenever possible. My interviewer said that she used to despise the culture surrounding organic food, but that Chipotle changed her. “It just feels really good to hand a burrito to a customer and know that it’s actually good for them.”

So, the job hunt continues, but never before have I been this tempted to consider a long-term career in food service. I can’t stop gushing and now I’m craving a delicious burrito handed to me with a smile. Cheers to Chipotle!

Related Thursday Review articles:

Step Aside, Colonel Sanders; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; March 29, 2014.