Blog with Rob: Is Chipotle becoming the Starbucks of Mexican food?

With article after article and study after study pointing toward a decline in spending on dining out for Millennials, brands like Starbucks, Panera and now Chipotle are creating the new fast food for the next generation of prime spenders.  These “fast casual” establishments are slowly but surely stealing market share from McDonald’s, Burger King and other traditional fast food juggernauts with simple strategy: spend less on advertising and more on quality ingredients.

And while the cost of eating at these types of food places is still relatively low, they are still priced well above the typical fast fare.  All of these brands also take a particular interest in digital marketing, innovative service and package design.  For example, Starbucks has carefully edited and curated social media pages featuring creative, appealing imagery.  And when it comes to product packaging, Starbucks has long paved the way for beautiful, thoughtful containers.  For years they had their “The way I see it”   inspirational quotes by famous persons printed on their cups.  And recently through social media they had a contest where customer submissions could be used as the design featured on their next-produced reusable coffee cup.

Chipotle is following in the ubiquitous upscale coffee shop’s footsteps.  Its’ new “Cultivating Thought” campaign will feature two paragraph essays by famous authors, actors and screenwriters and will be printed on the chain’s paper bags and disposable cups.  Some of the writers highlighted include Judd Apatow, Toni Morrison, Bill Hader, and Malcolm Gladwell, and the paper goods are also accented with cool doodles, not unlike some of Starbucks’ seasonal cups.

So what do you think of Chipotle’s new additions? Cool, keep it coming, or work on keeping the price of extra guacamole low?

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Rob Basso is a recognized small business expert, successful business owner and entrepreneur.

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