Case Study – The U.S. Economy from 2009 to Present
Jack Welch Management Institute
At Strayer University JWI– 518
Since it's opening it's first establishment in Denver, Colorado in 1993, Chipotle Mexican Grill now has more than 1200 locations including restaurants in 41 states, Canada, and England. Considering it's success, it is unlikely that Chipotle would have earned a net income $215 million(1) last year without the strategic implementation of social media.
Chipotle has employed social media as both a stand-alone means for promotion, as well as a smaller component to much larger campaigns. Among the successful applications are burrito give-aways, event promotion, “foil” art contests, and the most notable and successful “locally grown” campaign – which included a recent spot during the 2012 Grammy Awards.
The “locally grown” campaign is indeed Chipotle's most involved social media promotion, including videos, contests, and conversations all surrounding the local farming movement. The campaign's official moniker is “Food with Integrity,” and according to the official website is a “commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.”(2)
“I think it's really important that people know where their food comes from” says Steve Ells, Founder and Chairman of Chipotle. The campaign's first successful venture was the “Boorito” event, where they encouraged customers to dress up as family farm-inspired costumes in exchange for a $2 meal. The estimated $1 million in proceeds benefited the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation and Farm Aid non-profit organizations. As the winners were posted on Chipotle's social media accounts – most notably Facebook and Twitter, more and more people were talking about the “Food without Integrity” campaign, which has largely been in the background since it's...