Journal Activities :1 summary, 2 large essays Example

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Trading-Area Analysis or Site Selection


This article is about the writer comments about the establishment of a new branch by a Mexican food outlet, Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Grill is targeting vegetarian market in Canada which has remained untapped for long. The chain had an upper hand when it tested its market in the U.S that the consumers loved their product.


This article is relevant to the topic in that the chain will be introducing a new product in Canada, one which has picked market very fast. Additionally, the retail chain uses its human resources in the expansion strategy.

Discussion on Areas of Theory

The article touches on several areas of the retail organization and human resource management. The retail chain, before engaging in its business in Canada first decided on assessing the target market needs. On this, the management of the retail chain had to evaluate the possibility of success of the business by considering several scenarios. The management had to ensure that there were sufficient personnel to provide appropriate customer service. It is of importance considering the company had over thirty seven thousand employees who worked in one thousand, five hundred food outlets across five countries. The availability of personnel would not be of any efficiency if they were not properly motivated. The personnel should also be courteous andknowledgeable. They need to be aware of the needs of the customers and be courteous to them. This would help retain the already available customers and attract more new ones.

In addition to this, Chipotle Mexican Grill had well maintained outlets across all the countries of operation. The management ensured that the place of business was clean and well maintained. The importance of this practice is to ensure that the customers are comfortable and also so as to comply with the legislation where the food outlets are to be kept clean so as to avoid the illnesses brought about by dirt. In addition to this, the company management conducted sufficient research on the U.S market. A new product underwent testing in the United States to ascertain whether it would attract adequate market worth annexing (Nowak, 2014). To ensure satisfaction of its customers, the company introduced the new product to the market which was thronged with the same product over the past several years. The customers readily embraced the new product and this made it gain market faster than expected. Sofritas commanded three per cent to four per cent of the market in the U.S despite its newness (Arnold, 2014).

The company chose to produce its food in a different manner from what the other fast food outlets were doing and this made it gain a huge market share fast. The company expanded fast, opening up to five hundred restaurants by the year 2005. This led to the company having initial public offering in 2006, which turned out to be very successful (Nowak, 2014). The company operates under the mission statement ‘food for integrity,’ with the aim of using meat that has been raised naturally ,products from organics and dairy which is free from hormoneswhere possible (Nowak, 2005).

The company strives to keep their customers satisfied and at the same time managing to keep the same line of products without losing its identity. They achieve this by focusing on innovating with ingredients and cooking. Others come up with new mixtures so as to attract new customers. For instance, one of the products contained bacon, the cooks strive to remove the bacon while at the same time ensure the taste remains. This makes the option more appealing to the vegeterians. The branch experimented with a rotating oven and thus managed to reduce the order time to two minutes. This indicates that Chipotle makes foods fast. To make its services better and more convenient to its customers, Chipotle introduced a mobile ordering app in 2009, the first of its kind. The company is way ahead of its competitors on this.

The company stands out among its competitors in that it directly owns all of its outlets and does not franchise them out. It is thus able to maintain high quality and also makes it capable of staying away from legal battles with franchisees, a characteristic of most chain outlets (Arnold, 2014). The company is thus able to cut down on costs associated with settling of legal cost as well as hiring legal personnel to represent them in courts of law.

Chipotle has managed to acquire and retain competent employees who strive for the success of the company. The employees earn more than minimum wageas well as other benefits, which include vacation time and health care. This comes as additional benefit especially to employees working in the U.S other than those situated in Canada. The company employees are equipped with lifelong skill so as to produce high quality products which not only meet but exceed customer expectations. Chipotle employees are not only capable of food preparation, but also skilled in in-store preparation of ingredients. This enables the workers be of great use even after leaving the company (Arnold, 2014). It is worth noting that Chipotle workers did not take part in the U.S wage protests, since the workers are more satisfied working in the company other than anywhere else. The company strives to provide opportunity to people.

The skills imparted into the employees of the company ultimately differentiate regular fast food from high end fast casual segment, which saw explosive growth for five years. The competitors of the company are scrambling to catch a piece of thus fast casual phenomenon with high priced premium products. It is however possible to make such items using better ingredients, but once the ingredients are always assembled instead of cooking them, fast food companies will not be able to witness significant improvement in food quality (Arnold, 2014).

More Examples

This area of theory can be witnessed being applied among other players in the fast food industry. Those people who own the fast casual burger chains maintain they do not strive much to reduce order time, as their clients have no problem waiting so as to obtain quality. Many retail chains are finding it hard to strike a balance between quality and the time of production. They strive to reduce the production time and this ends up affecting the quality of their foods. Chipotle had managed to reduce the time between customer orders to the time the food is ready, to about two minutes. Mooyah Burgers Fries and Shakes has found this a challenge, with customer order taking between seven or eight minutes (Spae, 2013). Fatburger has however managed to reduce one or two minutes form the order processing time. Fatburger has just managed to process the orders placed by customers to around seven minutes. Value-focused promotions by competitors softened sales for Jack in the Box during the second quarter, but sister brand Qdoba Mexican Grill exceeded company expectations as guests responded to new menu items and catering recorded double-digit growth.

Customers were increasing growing impatient, especially on the new products which were introduced. Owners worked hard to beat the little time they had to prepare the products and the bloated menus. Many operators devised new ways to make sure that they maintained the quality of their products. They would only achieve this by introducing newer ingredients of higher quality. The improvement in quality of ingredients even made the food which was already in the menu to appear more appealing to the customer (Frumkin, 2013). Shula Burger, a four-unit outlet chain also wanted to reduce the order time that the customer spend at the counter (Shula, 2013). The outlet chain, situated at Fort Lauderdale, has a concept containing more than seven varieties that the customers can choose from. This is better than having to customize their sandwiches.

The outlets which have specialized on preparing veggie burgers admit that preparing the frozen patties take much more time to prepare than the burgers prepared from meat. The time may amount to as much as two minutes. Since the clients have no problem waiting, the companies find providing such burgers as much more necessary.

Taco Bell introduced a new app which customers would use to order for food early in advance. Taco Bell embarked on testing the app in five Southern California locations. The app doesn’t just allow for pre-ordering, but also charges the user’s credit card, so no transactions are necessary at the restaurant itself (Nowak, 2014). Furthermore, the app uses the phone’s GPS to signal the restaurant that the customer is approaching. The preparer can then start preparing the food when the customer is a few metres away, meaning the customer reaches the restaurant when the preparer just finishes preparing the food.


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Coomes, S. (2013), Fast-casual burger concepts put quality before speed, June 3, 2014. Retrieved from:

Frumkin, P. (2013), Chains up bid to compete on quality, June 3, 2014. Retrieved from:

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Nowak, P. (2014), Apps and robots will change fast food (and the job market) as we know it: Peter Nowak, June 3, 2014. Retrieved from:

Nowak, P. (2014),Taco Bell finally brings Doritos Locos Tacos to Canada, plus a good gag: Peter Nowak, June 3, 2014. Retrieved from:

Kageyama, Y. (2014). Softbank enters robotics business, with emotional humanoid, June 3, 2014. Retrieved from:

Vieira, R. (2014). Tesco: too timid, too many excuses, June 3, 2014. Retrieved from: