When Steve Ells started Chipotle back in 1993, he only intended to open one restaurant—not a chain of more than 1,200. Because of that, he broke all of the rules and Chipotle became a new kind of fast food restaurant. In fact, we do just about everything differently and it starts with the people we hire to work in our restaurants.
One of the many reasons why Chipotle is unlike other fast food companies is the fact that nearly all of the leaders are promoted from our crew.
Many restaurant companies hire "professional" managers to run their restaurants and almost never look to their crews for new leaders. But last year at Chipotle, 97% of our general managers were promoted from our crews and because our company is growing, there's plenty of opportunity. – less