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Difference Between Chipotle and Taco Bell

The number of fast-food chains keep increasing due to the need for quick food options. Although arguments have been put up regarding the health effects of fast foods, a quick meal once in a while can be fulfilling not to mention time-saving. Among the chains offering amazing fast foods include Burger King, McDonald’s, Lions choice, Chipotle, Wendy’s and Taco Bell, just to name a few.


What is Chipotle?

Founded on July 13, 1993, by Steve Ells, Chipotle is a fast-food chain restaurant specializing in burritos, quesadillas, bowls, salads, and tacos. With over 2,500 locations spread out in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Canada, and France, it is among the most growing fast-food chains. All restaurants operated under the brand name Chipotle are company-owned, as opposed to a franchise, which is common in other chains. It has its headquarters in California previously located in Denver.

In its menu, Chipotle serves a wide range of food including salads, bowls, burritos, quesadillas, and tacos. The price of each item, however, depends on the choice of steak, chicken, barbacoa, steak, pork carnitas or vegetarian. Other toppings including beans, rice, queso, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and cheese are available at no extra cost. A children’s menu is also available. In terms of nutrition and quality, most options available are prepared in each restaurant and can be considered healthy meals, but also depends on the choice ordered. The steak at Chipotle can especially be considered a healthy option as it is hormone and antibiotic-free.

The restaurant has, however, had its share of food safety violations such as the hepatitis outbreak in March 2008, norovirus outbreak in April 2008, E. coli outbreak in July 2015 among others, which were contained. Although Chipotle is quite pricey, one can be assured of getting the value for what is paid for.


What is Taco Bell?

Founded by Glen Bell on March 21, 1962, Taco Bell is a restaurant specializing in Mexican inspired foods including burritos, tacos, novelty, quesadillas, specialty items, nachos and value menu items. With over 7,000 restaurants, the restaurant serves quite a large number of people in a year. It has locations in the United States, Asia, United Kingdom, Russia, Finland, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Netherlands, the Middle East, North America, and Iceland, just to name a few. The headquarters, however, is located in Irvine, California.

Among other food items in its menu include sweets, combos, party packs, vegetarian, breakfast, and drinks. The value pack has prices as low as $2.00. Since its inception, Taco Bell has discontinued various items from its menu such as Taco Glande, Beefy Crunch Burrito, Chillito, Volacano Taco, Sea food salad, Black jack Taco, among others.


Similarities between Chipotle and Taco Bell

  • Both are fast-casual & restaurant food chains
  • Both are inspired by Mexican foods
  • Both serve drinks


Differences between Chipotle and Taco Bell


Chipotle was founded by Steve Ells. On the other hand, Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell.

Date founded

While Chipotle was founded in July 1993, Taco Bell was founded on March 21, 1962.


While Chipotle is classified in the fast-casual industry, Taco Bell is classified in the restaurant industry.

Food served

Among food items served in Chipotle include salads, bowls, burritos, quesadillas, and tacos. On the other hand, Taco Bell serves food items including burritos, tacos, novelty, quesadillas, specialty items, nachos and value menu items. 

Customizable menu

While chipotle allows customers to choose the ingredients for their bowls, burritos, and tacos, taco bell has a large menu that is not customizable.

Food style

While Chipotle has a Mexican food style inspiration, Taco Bell has a Tex-Mex food style inspiration.


Chipotle has its headquarters in California. On the other hand, Taco Bell has its headquarters in Irvine, California.


Chipotle is a public listed company. On the other hand, Taco Bells is a subsidiary of Yum Brands.


While Chipotle is highly-priced for most of its products, Taco Bell is fairly priced.

Chipotle vs. Taco Bell: Comparison Table


Summary of Chipotle vs. Taco Bell

Although choosing between Chipotle and Taco Bell is no easy task, Chipotle offers genuine Mexican foods that are customizable while Taco Bell offers more of Tex-Mex foods that are not customizable. Both are however great alternatives for great fast-casual foods.


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References :

[0]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taco_Bell_Night.JPG

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

[2]Loewy D & Guffey M.  Business Communication: Process and Product. Cengage Learning Publishers, 2010. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=01ERX2_NJLEC&pg=PT192&dq=Difference+between+Chipotle+and+Taco+Bell&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQwbeNkpHjAhWVqHEKHWEOD68Q6AEIMTAC#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Chipotle%20and%20Taco%20Bell&f=false

[3]Grant R. Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases Edition. John Wiley & Sons Publishers, 2016. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=DTDvCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA537&dq=Difference+between+Chipotle+and+Taco+Bell&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQwbeNkpHjAhWVqHEKHWEOD68Q6AEIODAD#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Chipotle%20and%20Taco%20Bell&f=false

[4]Arellano Gustavo. Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. Simon and Schuster, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=mbUwNDfOBxQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Chipotle+and+Taco+Bell&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQwbeNkpHjAhWVqHEKHWEOD68Q6AEIWTAJ#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Chipotle%20and%20Taco%20Bell&f=false

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