Our Story

A Chef on a Mission

Steve Ells

An Introduction of sorts

A letter from Chipotle Founder Steve Ells

When I opened the first Chipotle in Denver, Colorado, back in 1993, I didn’t have any intention of opening more than one restaurant. I just wanted to build a place where people could eat delicious food made from the finest ingredients—quickly and affordably. As it turns out, it was an idea that people could get behind.

As Chipotle began to grow, I learned quite a bit about the way most food in the U.S.—and increasingly around the world—is produced, and what I learned was pretty grim. I found animals raised in harsh confinement and fed antibiotics to accelerate their growth; fruits and vegetables grown without regard for the health of the soil; and synthetic additives used to replace the skills of the trained cook.

Steve Ells

Steve Ells in 1993—outside of what was to become the first, and what he thought would be the only, Chipotle location.

But I also learned that there is a better way. That’s why Chipotle is committed to partnering with farmers, ranchers, and other suppliers who emphasize responsible production methods, resulting in some of the most delicious ingredients we can find. And by preparing these ingredients using classic cooking techniques, our restaurant teams bring out their very best. 

This simple approach—taking great ingredients and preparing them with care, while constantly seeking ways to improve—is the foundation of the philosophy we call Food With Integrity, and guides every decision we make at Chipotle. Yet while we are proud of our accomplishments, we know that there is still a long way to go.

Chipotle Charing Cross

Charing Cross - our first London location, opened in 2010.

We're thrilled to bring Chipotle to the UK. By spending hours preparing our food from scratch every day and serving it at a speed that belies the effort we put into it, we’re showing that just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it needs to be a typical “fast food” experience.