Newport Beach-Based Chipotle Hits 3,000 Restaurants Milestone

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Chipotle employees in Phoenix celebrate the opening of the chain’s 3,000th location.

Chipotle Mexican Grill started with one restaurant in Denver, Colorado in 1993. It quickly expanded to another, and another. By 2003, Chipotle counted more than 300 locations. Many more followed.

In 2018, with more than 2,000 locations to its name, the restaurant group moved its corporate headquarters to Newport Beach.

Now the popular Mexican restaurant known for made-to-order tacos and burritos has hit an impressive milestone: Chipotle recently opened its 3,000th restaurant, in Phoenix, Arizona, featuring the brand’s digital order drive thru pick-up lane called a Chipotlane.

To celebrate the milestone, Chipotle’s executive leadership team virtually rang The Opening Bel at the New York Stock Exchange on February 15 at 9:30 a.m. E.S.T.

“This achievement is a testament to our phenomenal teams and their relentless pursuit of bringing food with Integrity to more communities. We are thrilled to celebrate our 3,000th restaurant opening, and the progress we’ve made towards our goal of having 7,000 restaurants or more in North America,” said Brian Niccol, Chipotle’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Last year, Chipotle opened 215 new locations in the United States, Canada and Europe, and approximately 80 percent of the new restaurants featured a Chipotlane. According to Chipotle, this format has proven to enhance guest access and convenience, as well as increase new restaurant sales, margins, and returns.

Chipotle says it plans to open between 235 to 250 new restaurants over the next year. With a long-term goal of more than doubling its restaurant count in North America, the company has a three-pronged approach to expanding its Chipotlane footprint including new restaurant openings, strategic relocations and existing building conversions. Chipotle is also targeting growth through small-town opportunities.

“Our phenomenal teams have demonstrated their abilities to deliver against our aggressive expansion strategies,” said Jack Hartung, Chipotle’s Chief Financial Officer. “We are well positioned to drive sustainable long-term growth and I am optimistic that we will achieve our goals.”

According to press material, Chipotle is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants. Chipotle is ranked on the Fortune 500 and is recognized on the 2021 lists for Forbes’ America’s Best Employers and Fortune’s Most Admired Companies.

Chipotle has three locations in Newport Beach: The Bluffs Shopping Center on Bison Ave., Newport Center, and Balboa Peninsula. For more information or to place an order online, visit


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