The Mexican Chain Restaurant Debate

Hannah Cressman, Staff Writer

With over 2,500 locations nationwide today Steven Ells, founder of Chipotle, has surely created a burrito empire. Originally being founded in 1993 in Denver, CO, Chipotle has now grown into one of America’s most popular and loved Mexican restaurants. Every restaurant opened is company owned and not franchised so you can expect the same great quality from everywhere you go. Ells’ mission for the company is to “provide food with integrity”. This statement is the reason why customers are served local fresh foods that are acquired fairly. However, in the past, Chipotle has been under some fire for food safety concerns as they have caused e-coli breakouts in several states. This has not slowed down or stopped them as they are still one of the top chain restaurants in the United States. Pennridge High School Senior Annabelle Huckerby said, “The food is very fresh and has big portions, so I never leave hungry”.

On the other side of Mexican food debate is one of Chipotle’s biggest competitors, Moe’s Southwest Grill. Having a very similar cafeteria-style service allowing customers to pick what they are putting in their order the restaurant is a close comparison to Chipotle. Moe’s was founded in December of 2000 by Martin Sprock III in Atlanta, GA. Their mission is “to provide a one-of-a-kind experience that energizes everyone with an enthusiastic welcome, exceptional service, awesome food, killer tunes, and an unforgettable time”. Moe’s does just that, offering a much more upbeat environment than Chipotle. True Moe’s fan, Nick Fanelli said, “I don’t like Moe’s, I love it. Moe’s is by far the best place on this planet. It has so much variety and the quality of their food is so good!” Something else that sets Moe’s apart from Chipotle is that they offer free chips with the meal and a creamy chipotle sauce. The source of their product is not as clear as to where it comes from as Chipotle so on the downside you may not be getting top grade food.

It is not up to you as the reader to decide for yourself on which Mexican chain is better. Will you pick Moe’s, which is farther and fewer in number in our area, but offers more than Chipotle? Or will you pick Chipotle, closer and more locations around with slightly pricier but fresher food?