McDonalds and Chipotle

by wonderfullyrich on May 14, 2008

I don’t know how many times over the last several years I’ve been asked how I can like Chipotle when it’s owned by McDonalds. Oy! Let me clear it up.

Chipotle is not owned by McDonalds!

Yes Chipotle was a subsidiary, but McDonalds divested itself of Chipotle in 2006.

What’s more, it was a smart move on McDonalds part to invest in Chipotle and in an abstract way I was hoping Chipotle would have more influence on the world’s largest fast food chain. They paired up for financial reason and they both made a huge a mount of money off the deal, but Chipotle’s values and structure are still intact. Indeed they didn’t follow the McDonalds model of business entirely. Each of the current 550 stores is owned by the company and rather then being franchised. It’s also worth noting that the guy who came up with the concept and created the very first store is still the CEO of the company.

Chipotle isn’t perfect, but it’s a huge step in the right direction if we are going to strike a balance between making money and working with the environment.

What’s more interesting to me about this is that people don’t know what the value, financial, and environmental structure of the companies they regularly purchase from are. I had an idea 5 years ago or so that I wanted to call the visible hand, which in essence used a web 2.0 or user based research approach to find and report more then the marketing face of the companies we patronize daily. The idea being that every dollar we spend is influence in some form. Perhaps by improving the information on these “legal persons” (aka corporation) in the market we as the consumers and patrons would begin to realize what our money is really purchasing. It might also help us realize that cheap at Walmart, or Target is just a defered cost.

I more or less gave it up however given that Wikipedia provided most of the information I was hoping a visiblehand.com would. I might ask now, how many of you know the corporate structure for your regular supermarket? What about what the mission statement is of your favorite coffee shop? etc

My point is to ask more questions. Not that you should entirely believe wikipedia for everything, but it’s worth checking occasionally.

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