I’ve driven past the Chipotle Grill located on the south side of 28th Street in Grand Rapids, MI (just across the street from Arnies Restaurant & Bakery) many times, but finally decided to stop in today. I had heard that the franchise placed great care and attention in providing great food and that they were passionate about working with local farm suppliers whenever possible.
The environment of the restaurant is contemporary and modern. It was just before lunch rush hour and the seating area was approximately half full. What was most impressive to me was that the wait staff behind the grill didn’t just assist me with the order, they also interspersed the dialog with information about how the animals which provided the meat were raised (humanely & without hormones, free range) and that their dairy products also had no additives. In addition they indicated that they work with local suppliers for their produce and try to provide seasonal items whenever possible.
I carried out my order thinking about my experience….one which lasted perhaps 6-7 minutes. I wasn’t leaving with just as Burrito, I was leaving with the knowledge of what had gone into that meal and the intention of the restaurant to serve food responsibly. Within that 6-8 minutes, a line had gathered behind me, but the manager/staff indicated that they wanted to make sure that I understood what went into the food as this was my first time & didn’t rush the order to get me out of the way.
Later, I drove about 5 miles to a local orchard to pick up some dessert. As I waited for my order, a couple of ladies stood behind me with stoic looks on their faces. I could sense the manager was perturbed as he rushed to place my order and get on to the next customer. This was interesting: I spent the same amount of time in each establishment, but the experience could not have been more profoundly different.
Some take-aways for life and business:
Always give your best to others…not just with words and advertising, but in intention and follow-through. It makes a difference!
Know your stuff…important in serving food and always a must in serving people!
Strive to be fully present ~ a bird in hand is always worth 2 in the field. Ignoring or rushing the customer you have is not prudent business.
Never miss an opportunity to share your story ~ I’ll never eat a burrito in quite the same way again. And…BTW, it was delicious!
Here’s some information from Chipolte Grill in Grand Rapids, MI in their own words:
“Food With Integrity” isn’t a marketing slogan. It’s not a product line of natural and organic foods. And it’s not a corporate initiative that will ever be finished or set aside to make room for other priorities. It’s a philosophy that we can always do better in terms of the food we buy. And when we say better, we mean better in every sense of the word- better tasting, coming from better sources, better for the environment, better for the animals, and better for the farmers who raise the animals and grow the produce. (read more here)
3610 28th Street Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI 49512-1606