Food Industry

Chipotle Catering: Coming To An Office Party Near You

What better way to enjoy Chipotle than without the endless lines that snake outside of the burrito shops?

With investors citing concerns of higher pricing than other fast food chains and long lines flat-lining lunchtime profits, the company is launching catering services, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The 15-minute standing wait was the only exercise most of us get each week, but good riddance. In c-suites across America we suspect executives are quietly satisfied with having found yet another way to keep cubicle jockeys chained to their desks.

Catering for the moment is only available in the company's hometown Denver, but will offer enough food for anywhere from 20 to 200 people and include all of the proteins, salsas and accouterments you can find in store. More markets are to begin offering it in the near future.

The company, according to the Wall Street Journal, fared better than most during the recession but has recently seen sales slow and drawn the ire of investors. Since mid-July share value has fallen by 25% to about $296 per share. Hedge fund manager Steve Einhorn last year said he plans to short the company's stock, essentially betting that its value would fall.

Chipotle built its reputation on being a different kind of fast-food company.

"We use meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones," according to its website, and "we source organic and local produce when practical. We use dairy from cows raised without the use of synthetic hormone."

In 1998 Chipotle had a mere 16 stores in Colorado but McDonald's became a major investor, helping to make it a nationwide brand with more than 500 stores by the time it pulled out 1998. At the end of the 2010 Chipotle had more than 1,000 stores across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The chain has about 30 stores across South Florida, according to its website, and five of them in Miami-Dade. Work is underway on an additional location on the corner of 37th Avenue and Coral way.

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Zachary Fagenson became the New Times Broward-Palm Beach restaurant critic in 2012 before taking up the post for Miami in 2014. He also works as a correspondent for Reuters.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson