Brian Niccol, Chipotle’s new CEO, has devised a simple recipe to cure Chipotle’s recent business decline. He plans to focus on improving the fast service and relatively simple menu that the business started out with – the same recipe that made them a popular success for many years.
Niccol says that he is taking a “measured approach” to turning around the chain and considers the hiring of new field managers and restaurant employees from outside as an important part of that process. He has indicated that Chipotle will more rigorously test new menu items as well as add longer hours, pick-up windows for mobile orders, and, possibly, even drive-throughs where property space allows. The things that he is indicating that he will not do is introduce combo meals or cut prices in an effort to entice customers. He says, “I’m planning on playing a ‘value game’ – offering great food with great ingredients that you don’t get anywhere else.” Does this not sound familiar – ? I’d guess, however, that Niccol can make that recipe work this time around. It would probably have continued to work last time around if proper attention had been paid to the quality and cleanliness of the fresh food ingredients. And, while you’re at it, CEO Niccol, think about training your restaurant staff to be more congenial, less haughty – “attitudes” came to abound in the “old Chipotle” stores – a simple matter that could be easily corrected by proper orientation and training of staff. Good luck to Chipotle.