Niccol-Brian_Chipotle3000_004_Social_Capital Brian Niccol celebrates the opening of the 3000th restaurant with the team in Phoenix. Photo: Chipotle

“We’ve kept our purpose simple on cultivating a better world, and we do it through food and integrity.” The integrity Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol speaks of is being very consistent -- even through the unpredictability of the Covid-19 disruptions -- in how the company invested in its food and in its people and its whole sustainable growth model.

As Brian enthusiastically shares, Chipotle continued to find ways to purchase more organic, to purchase more locally, to handle food waste better and, significantly, to invest in its workforce with internal promotions or benefits and wages, and it all led to greater success for the company.

At Chipotle’s recent all-managers conference, the company could show that not only was it not laying people off but it was honoring bonuses. Brian shares, “It was powerful for folks to see, just in the last year, we promoted 19,000 people. But I think the thing was most compelling to people was to see people being promoted from service manager to grill or kitchen manager or apprentice … And we did that during really tough times. And our business is stronger, and I think our people are stronger.”

In fact, as he explains, he believes Chipotle’s culture has never been stronger than over these past two years. “And our values are clear, our purpose is clear,” he says. “I feel that the decisions that were made across the organization at all the levels were done with the right value at the center or putting our purpose at the center of the decision-making process.” The positive results speak for themselves.

Observing that staying the course can be hard when other options are presented, Brian says, “We’re very fortunate to have clear values, clear purpose -- ‘cause it makes it a lot easier to say no … to potentially what, in our opinion, would be cutting corners.”

Click on the video below and listen in as Brian explains why it was important to him that “when we get to the other side of this, we did the right things for our company and for those that support our company, and those that work at our company.”