Monthly Archives: February 2014

Chipotle Mexican Grill knows how to do food business

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s assembly-line business model of slinging burritos and carnitas had a banner day on Wall Street. As the much of the market saw increased volatility Friday, Chipotle saw record highs, boosted by much better-than-expected earnings.

Much of the company’s solid growth came from its ability to quickly serve long lines of hungry customers during peak rush hours, a concept known as throughput, said Stephen Anderson, a restaurant analyst with Miller Tabak & Co. The efficiency at which customers move through Chipotle lines during busy hours seems to be increasing, he said.

Check out the CNBC video

What separates Chipotle from peers?
Over the last five years, Chipotle’s stock has surged an incredible 1,030% as the company has become one of the largest restaurants by market capitalization in the market. The reasons for its success during this period are plentiful, but they can be traced back to three core explanations.

1. Chipotle was one of the first fast-casual restaurants and really formed the business model for the segment, which is growing three to five times faster than any other segment in the restaurant industry in any given quarter.

2. Product Innovation: Chipotle continues to add new foods to its menu, and it has successfully grown beyond Mexican food into Asian food. It is now bringing its fast-casual business model to the pizza industry. Thus, Chipotle’s growth has never been an issue.

3. Organic and healthy focus: Many thought healthy consumption was a fad, but it has proven to be a long-term lifestyle that Chipotle’s peers are now racing to satisfy. Chipotle saw this trend coming, and it has positioned its menus to meet this need.

Is Chipotle still the BEST?

Fast Casual Versus Fast Food

One trend that you might want to take notice of is the shift from quick-service (fast food) and casual dining restaurants to fast casual restaurants.

For proof, consider a recent quote from Bonnie Briggs, an NPD restaurant industry analyst:

“Overall, restaurant customers are trading down, foregoing some of their visits to full service places while increasing the number of visits made to fast casual restaurants. Fast casual concepts are capturing market traffic share by meeting consumers’ expectations, while midscale and casual dining places continue to lose share.”

Fast casual vs. fast food

Fast food is the same thing as quick-service. The name has been changed to “quick-service restaurants” due to the negative connotation associated with the phrase “fast food.”


According to the NPD Group (a global information company), the foodservice industry still hasn’t recovered from the recession. Still, the fast casual dining space has performed well. In 2013, fast casual restaurant visits increased 8% versus 2012. If that’s not impressive enough, spending at fast casual restaurants jumped 10% over 2012. Comparatively, total spending at all restaurants improved just 2%.

The reason for the superior performance has to do with better service than fast food restaurants and more affordability than casual dining restaurants. Food served at fast casual restaurants is believed to be fresher than what you find at fast food restaurants.

The chart below shows the difference between fast food foot traffic and fast casual foot traffic since 2009 — all numbers are year over year:

Year Fast Food Traffic Fast Casual Traffic
2009 Down 3% Up 4%
2010 Down 1% Up 6%
2011 Flat Up 6%
2012 Up 1% Up 9%
2013 Flat Up 8%

As you can see, the fast casual space is growing at a decent clip. Also, keep in mind that the average check size is higher at fast casual restaurants than at fast food restaurants: $7.40 vs. $5.30. The average check at full-service restaurants is $13.66, but that doesn’t mean much without increased traffic.

Part of the reason for growth in the fast casual space is increased unit growth. For instance, fast casual units grew 6% to 16,215 in 2013. This might make the numbers above seem skewed, but only restaurants that are bullish about their futures will add more locations. Restaurant chains that are struggling will close locations to free up cash flow to pay off debt or reinvest that capital into better-performing locations.

Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill are the top performers in the space, but is one a better option than the other?

More details here

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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in business, food, trends


Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter

The change to the law, announced last week and effective as of yesterday, has been called “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders and “a clear interference in religious freedom” by the non-profit group Danish Halal.

European regulations require animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered, but grants exemptions on religious grounds. For meat to be considered kosher under Jewish law or halal under Islamic law, the animal must be conscious when killed.

more details at independent

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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in economy, think, tourism, trends


Tags: ,


  • Jan Koum, 37, moved to California from the Ukraine when he was 16
  • Founded mobile chat-app WhatsApp with Brian Acton in 2009
  • Koum has known Mark Zuckerberg ‘for a long time’, Facebook CEO said
  • Acton was rejected by Facebook and Twitter in 2009
  • Koum signed $19bn deal at welfare center where he used to collect handouts

READ THE rest of story at Daily mail

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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in technology, think, trends


rich people’s pets enjoy luxury treatment

Dubai Dogs and Cats enjoying luxury life

Disney World’s luxury pet resort

And to put it more bluntly <<Saeen ka kutta bhi saeen>> (loose translation: my lord’s dog is also my lord)

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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in tourism, trends


top 85 people = 3,500,000,000 bottom poor people

The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called ‘global elite’ is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110tn (£60.88tn), or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world, added the development charity, which fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

Read the rest of article at the guardian


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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


Is your credit card safe???

It’s frightening to see just how easy it is for crooks to steal your money and your identity these days…

The news clip below shows how one man can use a $100 device to “pickpocket” you… without ever touching your wallet.

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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in banks, money

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