Corporate management programs are often nothing but hot air, but that’s not the case with Chipotle’s Restaurateur program.UBS named this program as a big reason why the chain is growing like crazy and putting pressure on Taco Bell.
We view Chipotle’s Restaurateur program—which recently celebrated the appointment of its 200th Restaurateur—as a competitive advantage for the chain. The Restaurateur program effectively turns high-performing managers into player-coaches who are charged with advising and boosting the performance of one or more other restaurants while continuing to manage his or her own original restaurant. As a result, the Restaurateur program institutionalizes best practice sharing while minimising the team disruption that often arises from promoting the best managers to district/regional management.
We believe the program could struggle as Chipotle nears domestic capacity constraints, but those limits are over a decade away, in our view. In the meantime, the Restaurateur program will be one reason we feel confident in the ability of Chipotle to develop and retain talented and motivated employees.
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