Chipotle drive thru
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
1 August 2017
A Chipotle drive thru just makes it Taco Bell
Hard to believe but it was not that long ago when I deemed Chipotle the future of fast food. The fresh ingredients and experience make for an aesthetic above and beyond the run-of-the-mill fast food players. Eating there meant a quick and healthy sit-down lunch. And now comes Chipotle drive thru.
Times are changing. Since my early proclamations, Chipotle fights food safety concerns (so much for being the healthier alternative). Two men from Virginia smack the company with a lawsuit after getting sick there with Norovirus this week. As a result, Chiptole’s stock plummets.
As one might imagine, if Chipotle wishes to continue wrapping burritos, it has some rethinking to do. Which is why it’s a damn shame that the only thing it’s appears to be considering is testing those Chipotle drive-thru windows in Ohio this fall.
“While Chipotle is metaphorically back at square one, I pray its return to glory (if it ever does) doesn’t mean imitating Taco Bell. What’s next? The cheesy potato burrito? Breakfast burritos smothered in gravy?”
Will a Chipotle drive thru make the chain any different than Taco Bell?
Chief Marketing Officer Mark Crumpacker says “We need to evolve the Chipotle experience.” Sad, as adding a Chipotle drive-thru makes it pedestrian.
There isn’t much I like with Crumpacker’s thinking. Sure, a drive thru makes ordering easier and eating a breeze. But it does not give the impression of being evolved. You want to be different and better to win. Only when you offer a true choice can you become preferred. Rather, this is quite the opposite. It feels cheap and easy. And a little desperate. There isn’t any need to deviate from the aspects that make Chipotle special. Rather, its overhaul must happen around its perceived weakness: Its quality of food.
While Chipotle is metaphorically back at square one, I pray its return to glory (if it ever does) doesn’t mean imitating Taco Bell. What’s next? The cheesy potato burrito? Breakfast burritos smothered in gravy? I still hope for better from Chipotle.
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