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Difference Between Chipotle and Freebirds

The convenience experience in fast-foods is a major deal for most people. This has led to an increase in the number of fast food chains worldwide.  Among the fast food chains include Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Subway, KFC and Panera bread, just to name a few.


Background Information on Chipotle

Chipotle commonly referred to as Chipotle, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., is an American fast casual restaurant based in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. It specializes in mission style burritos and tacos. Founded on 13th July 1993 by Steve Ells, the company now trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It now has over 2000 locations with a net income of US475.6 million in 2015, and at the time had 45,000 employees. Its headquarters is at Newport Beach, California, which was previously located at Denver.

Chipotle offers a wide range of food items, ranging from tacos, burritos, quesadillas, bowls, and salads. The price varies depending on the choice of steak, chicken, tofu-based sofritas, pork canitas, vegetarian or barbacoa. Additional toppings such as cheese, salsa, lettuce, and sour cream are also offered. The restaurant is commended for the preparation of food at the restaurant, as they do not have freezers, can openers or microwave ovens.


Background Information on Freebirds

Commonly known as Freebirds, Freebirds World Burrito is a fast-casual burrito restaurant. It was founded by Mark Orfaleo in 1987 in Santa Barbara. With the chain’s headquarters in Emeryville, California, the chain has expanded with over 60 locations in Texas, and others in Utah, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Among the items offered include customizable tacos, salads, nachos, quesadillas and burrito bowls, with sides options such as queso, chips, and salsa.


Similarities between Chipotle and Freebirds

  • Both offer a variety of food items including tacos, salads, nachos, quesadillas and burrito bowls, with sides options such as queso, chips, and salsa.


Differences between Chipotle and Freebirds


While Chipotle was founded by Steve Ells, Freebirds was founded by Mark Orfaleo.

Date founded

Chipotle was founded on 13th July 1993. On the other hand, Freebirds was founded by 1987.


While Chipotle has its headquarters at Newport Beach, California, which was previously located at Denver, Freebirds has its headquarters at Austin, Texas, U.S.


Chipotle serves a wide location including Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France & Germany. On the other hand, Freebirds serves Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee locations.


While Chipotle is categorized in the fast-casual industry, Freebirds is categorized in the restaurant industry.

Company type

Chipotle is a public trading company while Freebirds is a private trading company.

NYSE listing

While Chipotle is listed in the New York Stock Exchange, Freebirds is not listed in the New York Stock Exchange.

Chipotle vs. Freebirds: Comparison Table


Summary of Chipotle vs. Freebirds

Although both Chipotle and Freebirds offer the same range of food items, ranging from tacos, salads, nachos, quesadillas and burrito bowls, with sides options such as queso, chips, and salsa, they have various differences, from founders, locations, the industry as well as ingredients offered. They, however, remain important players in the fast casual as well as restaurant industries globally.


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References :

[0]Barkley P & Barkley B. Depolarizing Food and Agriculture: An Economic Approach. Routledge Publishers, 2014. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=XvfDBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA122&dq=chipotle&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjL0KbChL7iAhVDAmMBHb-4BXE4ChDoAQgvMAI#v=onepage&q=chipotle&f=false

[1]Hoskisson R & Hitt M. Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases: Competitiveness and Globalization. Cengage Learning, 2012. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=PYgJAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA2108-IA4&dq=chipotle&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjdr7O3hL7iAhW0AWMBHal4AjkQ6AEITTAH#v=onepage&q=chipotle&f=false

[2]Culle K & Jakle J. Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age. JHU Press, 2002. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=0nYcgnWKWXgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=fast+food+chains&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiJm9vFhb7iAhV3ShUIHRcpA4gQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=fast%20food%20chains&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/18010312490

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chipotle_Brandon.jpeg

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