Give Chipotle Same Respect as Apple

Matthew Yglesias: Steve Ells is to fast food what Steve Jobs was to tech

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 9, 2012 4:34 PM CST | Updated Feb 12, 2012 8:18 AM CST

(Newser) – Steve Jobs, meet Steve Ells. Both men founded companies that have revolutionized American culture: Chipotle is doing for fast food what Apple did for technology, writes Matthew Yglesias at Slate. First of all, "Chipotle’s growth since its 2006 IPO should be seen as a great American success story," especially in such a difficult economic climate. The firm added 67 new stores in the fourth quarter of last year alone, and its stock has soared 500% in five years.

Its success can be chalked up to Apple-like innovation—indeed, "the Chipotle burrito is very similar to the iPhone," Yglesias writes. Both products take what's good about their industries and improve upon it; for that, customers will shell out a little more. We tend to forget about food when we discuss American advances. "But premium fast food is a bona fide boom market despite an adverse macroeconomic climate," Yglesias writes. And given that we'll always need to eat, "faster and better food is a great strategy for winning the future." Click for the full column.

In this2006 file photo, Steve Ells, the founder and CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, poses for a photograph at the company's headquarters in Denver.
In this2006 file photo, Steve Ells, the founder and CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, poses for a photograph at the company's headquarters in Denver.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, file)
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