DENVER --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) (NYSE: CMG.B), the US-based chain of burrito restaurants known for serving "Food with Integrity," has secured its first London location and is finalizing design and building plans. The restaurant, located at 114-116 Charing Cross Road, will be Chipotle's first location in Europe and is slated to open in April of 2010.
"We are very encouraged by the prospects for Chipotle in the UK," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-chief executive officer of Chipotle. "London has become an important food city over the years, especially because of the awareness of and desire for things like locally sourced, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients. These are all core values of Chipotle and we have been instrumental in bringing this kind of thinking to fast food in the U.S. We call it 'Food with Integrity' and it is how we are changing the way people think about fast food. We believe Londoners will appreciate our efforts to serve food that is raised right and in a way that is so accessible."
In the U.S., Chipotle is the only restaurant chain that is committed to serving food made with ingredients from sustainable sources, including meat from animals that are humanely raised, never given antibiotics or added hormones, and fed a pure vegetarian diet, local and organic produce, and milk from cows that are not treated with synthetic hormones.
All of Chipotle's 900-plus restaurants offer a limited menu consisting of burritos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla), tacos and salads. Because customers choose exactly what goes into their individual order, however, there are more than 60,000 possible combinations, allowing Chipotle to meet virtually any set of dietary restrictions or preferences.
The majority of Chipotle's growth through 2010 will be in the United States, though the company continues to look for additional sites in London. Beyond its interest in the UK, Chipotle has also started to look for locations in Paris and Munich, but has not identified specific sites or released timelines for expansion into these markets.
"In many ways, the food culture in Europe matches our priorities much more closely than in the U.S.," said Ells. "I think we'll be able to source beautiful ingredients from local and sustainable sources from the time we open in the UK, and establish sustainable supply chains elsewhere as we look at other European markets."
The landlord for Chipotle's first London restaurant is London-based Estates & Agency Holdings Limited. The company is working with local brokerage firms in London, Paris and Munich to help identify potential locations as it looks for additional sites.
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food with Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food not only from using fresh ingredients, but ingredients that are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. Chipotle opened its first restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 900 restaurants.
Statements in this press release regarding the possibility and timing of opening Chipotle restaurant locations in international markets, and sourcing ingredients for any such restaurants, are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this press release and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks of delays in restaurant construction, the potential inability to locate and secure suitable restaurant sites or suppliers in one or more markets, the availability of a sufficient number of qualified employees to staff our international expansion, differing consumer preferences or general economic conditions in new markets, and other risk factors described from time to time in our SEC reports, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q all of which are available on the Investor Relations page of our Web site.
Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.