Steve Ells planned to open up a fancy-white-table-cloth type restaurant until he fell in love with burritos...
But it wasn’t until after he graduated from the best culinary school in the country that—in the streets of San Francisco—he first laid eyes on a burrito. Let’s just say it was love at first sight.
A couple years after catching his first glimpse of a burrito, he found himself in Denver, Colorado. It was 1993, and Steve decided he wanted to chase his lifelong dream of opening a restaurant for fine dining. But he didn’t have enough of money. That’s when he got the idea for Chipotle.
The plan was to open a small burrito joint that would bring in enough cash to get Steve’s fancy restaurant idea up and running. So, Steve received a small loan from his dad, rented out an old ice cream parlor, and started rolling up tortillas.
Steve needed to sell around 100 burritos per day to break even. But by the end of the first month, Chipotle was selling over 1,000 per day. Needless to say, that’s when Steve decided to open a second location. And a third. And Chipotle is now worth over $22 billion.
So, the next time you ask for guac at Chipotle, remember this:
It was started by a broke chef who went to the best culinary school in America.
**To keep reading, check out these sources: this Bloomberg article and their website.
**To read more FS Origin Stories, click here.
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