Chipotle’s Original Supply Chain Flowchart

In Chipotle’s former supply chain, the company enjoyed comparative advantage and sourced ingredients from sources where they would be readily available and at a relatively cheap costs. The ingredients were locally sourced and lead to simplified form of supply chain. In the chain, the initial step involved collecting protein ingredients from local suppliers and accumulating the ingredients at Miniat holdings. The ingredients along with other ingredients from suppliers main suppliers in the chain are then sent to the central 

distribution point in Denver.  From the central distribution point the ingredients are sent to different restaurants based on the demand for each restaurant. Initially, the ingredients would only be tested at the farm level after which they would be directed into consumption with limited tests on the quality of the ingredients or presence of any harmful substances. As a result, the ingredients stood chances of being contaminated with other ingredients at the storage level. Another way in which the company could supply its chains is illustrated in the flow chart below. 

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McDonald’s Supply Chain Management

Experts attribute the huge success of McDonald’s restaurant to an effective supply chain which is slightly complex but cost effective. Below is an illustration of McDonald’s supply chain

McDonald rear their own animals for beef, process the  meat and makes their spices and mixes through factories they contact. They also have contacted producers for of potatoes and vegetables. McDonald’s current supply chain is good shape given they use refrigerated trucks to transport their products to ensure they do not spoil on transit. However, I would recommend that the company adds more quality checkpoints. The checkpoints should be situated after every level including farming, processing and finally when serving the consumer. Even though the restaurant participates in the production of most of their ingredients, having additional checkups will facilitate elimination of possible threats.

Recommended Flow Chart

Summary of recommendations

  1. Increased transparency with customers about the definition of local ingredients. Additionally, establishment of new measures to ensure that the ingredients obtained locally undergo several tests while still in the farm and even after harvests to ensure they are fit for consumption.
  2. Generation of more long-term contracts with suppliers. By generating long-term contracts with supplier, it becomes easy to understand their methods of production and establish together safety measures as a team.
  3. Increase traceability of ingredients- Increasing traceability of ingredients makes it easy to identify the source of any problems that may arise, for example, in a case of food poisoning it would be easy to detect the source of the food and correct it before it affects a significant fraction of the population.  
  4. Individual inspection of ingredients
  5. Use of refrigerated trucks in transporting food materials helps to ensure that the materials reach their destination while still fresh and good for consumption.

I used an informal strategy to reach my conclusion by increasing the levels at which ingredients are checked before reaching the main distributor and before being used in preparing the final product. The company should also register with the ISO as it will convince the consumers that the value of their food products is at par with the internationally recognized standards and may thus help to regain the public’s trust. 


Berfield, S. (2015). Inside Chipotle’s Contamination Crisis. Bloomberg Business.

Gilliard, D. J., Hoffman, D. L., & Baalbaki, S. (2017). Is Chipotle Mexican Grill Successfully Recovering from Its Food-Related Incidents?. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 11(4), 34-48.

Mead, P. S., Slutsker, L., Dietz, V., McCaig, L. F., Bresee, J. S., Shapiro, C., … & Tauxe, R. V. (1999). Food-related illness and death in the United States. Emerging infectious diseases, 5(5), 607.Pate, R. R., Pratt, M., Blair, S. N., Haskell, W. L., Macera, C. A., Bouchard, C., … & Kriska, A. (1995). Physical activity and public health: a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. Jama, 273(5), 402-407.

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