MONDAY 28 SEP 2015 4:29 PM


Mexican restaurant chain, Chipotle, has taken unique measures to ensure that its employer brand is administered across all of its stores.

The company has a system where it measures the success of its store managers on a quarterly basis.

Chipotle’s co-CEO, Monty Moran devised the company’s intense management system whereby each of the company’s managers is marked against a 39-point checklist of ‘negative themes’ that the manager is expected to avoid. The checklist of unacceptable scenarios includes, ‘The vision is not clear to employees or they are not inspired by it’, ‘People aren’t focused on making the people around them better, and are therefore not truly top performers’ and ‘Low performers are allowed to remain on a team, dis-incentivizing the rest of the team’.

If the manager performs well in the evaluations they are rewarded with the chance to become a ‘restaurateur’, a select group of managers who run the top performing stores. The restaurateur program is unique among fast food restaurants in that it ties pay and promotion to how well managers mentor their people, rather than store sales. Restaurateurs can earn in excess of $100,000, and get a $10,000 bonus every time they train an employee up to general manager level. The amount that Chipotle has chosen to invest in this scheme demonstrates how essential managers are to the engagement of all staff.

Moran started out as Chipotle’s outside lawyer, but joined the company full-time in 2005 before it fully divested from McDonald’s and went public. The company needed to accommodate its fast growth with a strong company culture supported by great managers. Moran, who had previously built up an effective company culture at Denver law firm Messner Reeves, took ownership of that challenge. Chipotle’s unique company culture is often cited as a driver of its rapid growth.

In a similar vein to the way that Google fills some of its role’s, Chipotle’s staff are hired according to personality characteristics rather than experience because it is reasoned that bright people can learn skills, but the brand benefits from people with qualities that you can’t teach.


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