Building the Buzz, Not Just the Store. We've developed a marketing strategy that we use in connection with new store openings
to help build local brand recognition. We start off by establishing a visual presence through the use of banners and "coming soon" barricades during construction. During that time, we also try to
become active in the local community by, for example, joining the chamber of commerce, hosting local community or philanthropic events and giving away free burritos to local businesses and residents
before the store opens. We also generally have a big party on opening day. Then, during the first three months after opening a new store, we engage in intense local marketing efforts. For example, we
distribute print advertising and provide promotional free food to local radio stations, hospitals and schools, all of which help us create interest in the store from the start.
advertising has a low-key and irreverent voice that has been popular with customers. We've taken this approach because we believe that in a world where everyone is
shouting for your attention, it's sometimes the whisper that is heard.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Competition
The fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry is highly competitive and fragmented. In addition, fast-casual restaurants compete
against other segments of the restaurant industry, including in particular quick-service restaurants and casual dining restaurants. The number, size and strength of competitors varies by region. All
of these restaurants compete based on a number of factors, including taste, quickness of service, value, name recognition, restaurant location and customer service. Competition within the
fast-casual restaurant segment, however, focuses primarily on taste, quality and the freshness of the menu items and the ambiance and condition of each restaurant. For further information
about the restaurant industry, see "Our Industry" above.
We compete with national and regional fast-casual and quick-service restaurants, including our parent McDonald's. Our competition also includes a variety of locally owned
restaurants and the deli sections and in-store cafés of several major grocery store chains. Many of our competitors have greater financial and other resources, have been in
business longer, have greater name recognition and are better established in the markets where our stores are located or are planned to be located. See "Risk FactorsRisks Relating to Our
Business and IndustryCompetition from restaurant companies could adversely affect us." Our competitors include a number of multi-unit, multi-market Mexican food or burrito
restaurant concepts, some of which have plans for national expansion and some of which have raised capital in the public or private financial markets.
believe we're well-positioned to continue to grow our market position in existing and new markets given current favorable consumer trends, including the increasing impact
of Hispanic culture on food and flavors, the growth of the Mexican food segment and increasing public awareness and concern about what they eat. Some of our competitors have formats similar to ours.
We believe, however, that Chipotle is rapidly becoming one of the most recognized fast-casual restaurants and is known for its focus on using a variety of fresh ingredients and commitment
to "food with integrity," which we think represents a significant competitive advantage in the segment in which we operate.
Our Intellectual Property and Trademarks
"Chipotle," "Chipotle Mexican Grill," "Chipotle Mexican Grill (in stylized font)," "Unburritable," "Food With Integrity," "Fresh Is Not Enough Anymore," "The
Gourmet Restaurant Where You Eat With Your Hands," the Chili Pepper Logo design, the Foil Burrito design and the Chipotle Medallion design are U.S. registered trademarks of Chipotle.
addition to these U.S. registrations, we own the trademarks for "Chipotle Mexican Grill" in Brazil and Mexico and for "Chipotle" in Australia and the European Union, among other
countries. We have also filed trademark applications for "Chipotle" in a number of countries and for "Chipotle Mexican Grill" in two countries. We plan to assign and transfer our interest in our
non-domestic trademarks to Chipotle