DENVER - (BUSINESS WIRE) - October 12, 2015 - Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) announced that it has hired Curt Garner as chief information officer. Garner, who held the same position at Starbucks Coffee Corporation, will join Chipotle effective November 23, 2015, and become the company's first CIO.
"We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "Inherent in that vision is our quest to provide the very best restaurant experience we can. As we look for ways to create efficiencies in our restaurants and improve the customer experience through the strategic use of technology, Curt's experience and expertise make him an ideal and welcome addition to our management team."
Prior to joining Chipotle, Garner served as CIO at Starbucks, where he held a variety of positions in the company's information technology group throughout his 18 years with the company. During his tenure at Starbucks, Garner's work on technology infrastructure began when the company had fewer than 2,000 stores, and continued through its development of the infrastructure to support a global business that is recognized as a leader in digital platform technology.
Prior to joining Starbucks, Garner held a technology leadership position at Wendy's International, Inc. He is a 1991 graduate of Ohio State University, with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics.
"Chipotle is a tremendous company with and important mission and remarkably loyal customers," said Garner. "I am thrilled to join such a dynamic organization at a time when investments in technology infrastructure can help the company create a technology platform that is on par with the leadership they have already established in terms of their food culture, people culture, and unit economic model."
In his new role at Chipotle, Garner will report to Jack Hartung, chief financial officer at Chipotle.
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 from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that - where possible - are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 1,850 restaurants, including 22 Chipotle restaurants outside the U.S. and 11 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates three Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.