Chipotle’s Mexican Grill

Phase II: Planning and Implementation Stage

 Planning involves establishing the fundamentals. That is, determining the problem to be solved, the personnel to be included in the research and what needs to be done (Ahmad and Soberi, 2017). Phase one handled the problem under study and the stakeholders involved. If the stakeholders change in the course of the research, the researchers will be ready to engage the new stakeholders in the project.

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The project aims at answering the five why’s stated in phase 1. It seeks to use all the resources at its disposal to collect data necessary to answer the questions. The questions in the five why’s form the research objectives. The project objectives are;

1.    To determine why individuals are getting sick

2.    To identify causes of food contamination

3.    To determine why the ingredients do not undergo proper scanning

4.    To determine why there is no scanning system in place

5.    To determine why the standard safety requirements are inadequate

The project’s success will be determined by how well the objectives are met. The success of the project largely depends on the methodology used in collecting the data and analyzing it to provide meaningful information (SHELAR, 2016). This stage represents the fieldwork part. It will describe in details where the data is to be obtained, how it is going to be analyzed and the means of interpreting the data.

One of the tools to be used in the project is Work Breakdown Structure (Sequeira and Lopes, 2015). It assists in subdividing the complex activities into smaller manageable units. It begins by determining what will have to be done to accomplish a specific task, and breaking it down using questions until it cannot be broken down any further. It will also involve estimating the amount of time it will take to complete the specific tasks, and the costs involved. Time and cost will determine quality.

The project will involve the stakeholders mentioned earlier. The study will use a team of 20 co-workers. The team number was chosen based on availability and size of the organization. The research will adopt questionnaires and interviews as the data collection techniques. Questionnaires will be administered to the affected individuals. That is those individuals who got sick following the chipotle breakouts. Interrogation will then be made to the doctors, the health officials, witnesses to the incidents, other investigators and any other individuals with the necessary information. Costs include transport allowances, food, and beverage, housing allowance, any other expenses that may arise in the course of the research. Each member was budgeted 2000 USD. The total cost amounted to 60,000 USD, with the additional 20,000 USD being dedicated for any inconveniences that may arise. The research will take a month to a meeting at the end of every week to give on the progress each member has made, as well as addressing the challenges. Contacts were provided for emergency calls in case anything went wrong.

The team assembled and were briefed on what each member needs to do. The process and procedures for conducting the research were emphasized in details and with clarity to all the members. Each member was given all the necessary tools and equipment needed for the study. The managers of Chipotle farmers were going to be interviewed to provide an insight into the depth of the problem at hand. The managers will also be asked for the details of the incidences and the organization’s response to the breakouts.

 Chipotle’s staff will also be interviewed to get their perspective of the occurrences. Customers who got ill will also be interviewed together with the doctors who attended to their cases, as well as examining the doctor’s reports. Some of the team members will identify the distributors or transporters of Chipotle’s raw materials from the sellers or rather the farmers to Chipotle’s stores. The various farmers who sold fresh products at the time of the breakouts will also be interviewed to identify the quality standards established and how they are met.

 Some of the team members will focus on the details of the supply chain. This team will examine how the farmers handle their produce from the planting to harvesting and the storage mechanism before the product is finally sold to Chipotle. The team will also look into the distribution channel used. The trucks used to transport the produce, time was taken and safety measures in place. It will finally examine the how Chipotle stores the produce and the safety and health standards in place before and after cooking in the Chipotle restaurants. The team will then produce a report on the strengths and faults of the system in place.

Phase III: Evaluation

The research was conducted smoothly with a few challenges experienced. All the questionnaires were gathered as well as the recordings and reports from the interviews conducted. The comparison was made from all the team members, concerning the area of research each member handled. The team analyzed all the findings and a conclusive report on the project was produced. The research objectives were achieved as well as the research questions getting answers. The discoveries made provided answers to the five Why’s as follows:

1.    It was discovered that individuals were getting sick, because of toxic elements such as bacteria and viruses in the products.

2.  Ingredients got contaminate because of the negligence of the various parties in the supply chain. Farmers needed to exercise caution and attention to detail in the handling of their products as it grows and during harvesting. The trucks also require regular maintenance. Safety and health standards in the restaurants should also be enhanced to reduce any chance of toxic elements in the produce and food.

3.    There were no scanning machines to eliminate even the smallest of the poisonous elements. Chipotle depended on the farmers to maintain quality of their produce, while the Chipotle staffs maintains the required standards.

4.    The supply chain depended on each of the parties to maintain standards at their stations. It was however not the case, as the rules in place were at the bare minimum.

5.    The standards and safety measures in place are those required by the law. For the food industry and for a company like Chipotle whose reputation is based on quality the legal requirements are not sufficient. Chipotle needs to invest in scanning machines and improve its demand for quality to avoid any breakouts.

The project was a success, and the set objectives had been accomplished. Detailed reports were provided the stakeholders as well as the superiors, my bosses, who were overseeing the project. The project was therefore complete.


Ahmad, R. and Soberi, M. (2017). Changeover process improvement based on modified SMED method and other process improvement tools application: an improvement project of 5-axis CNC machine operation in advanced composite manufacturing industry. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

Sequeira, S. and Lopes, E. (2015). Simple Method Proposal for Cost Estimation from Work Breakdown Structure. Procedia Computer Science, 64, pp.537-544.

SHELAR, S. (2016). CORRELATION BETWEEN LOGISTICS AND FAST FOOD CHAIN. Indian Research Journal of Pharmacy and Science, 3(3), pp.786-792.

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