The fast-food chain restaurant Chipotle is known for their quick service and hospitable atmosphere, as well as their friendly workers and managers, that separates them from other fast— food industries But what makes Chipotle so unique? When hiring new recruits, managers are asked to look for “13 characteristics” that a person must have in order to obtain a position The company redefined the words “empowerment, top performer,” and “high standards” and requires every crew member to not only memorize the definitions, but also the steps to implicate these words into their work habits. I believe these terms (as well as their wholesome ingredients) are the barrier between Chipotle and restaurants like Mcdonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bellt 0 Empowerment: to be confident in your ability and encouraged by your circumstances such that you feel motivated and at liberty to devote all of your talents to a purpose.
Top Performer: a person who has the desire and ability to perform excellent work, and whose constant effort to do so elevates them, their team, and Chipotle I High Standards: creating a uniquely extraordinary restaurant experience for every one of your customers and crew 0 Restauranteur a person who develops a team of top performers who are empowered to achieve high standards 0 13 Characteristics: Happy, Honest, High Energy, Curious, Conscientious, Presentable, Polite, Smart, lnfectiously Enthusiastic, Motivated, Ambitious, and Respectful Being a crew member myself, I have firsthand experience on the effect of the Chipotle vocabulary within our discourse community. A discourse community is “The terms mediate activity within the Chipotle discourse community by providing a sense of pride within the crew member.
For example, since I know the definition of empowerment, instead of letting a crew member struggle with a task I know how to do, I will help them out and give them tips on how to do the task bettert This allows for a smooth-running store and allows the managers to focus on accomplishing other tasks instead of helping workers who are struggling. Although there discourse community, there are different tactics that Chipotle utilizes in order to encourage the memorization and implementation of these words These include things such as taping the definitions to the paper towel holder so crew members can read while they wash their hands, posting them on the back of doors that are essential to go in and out of the kitchen and office, having crew members keep development journals which allow them to reflect on their growth on the understanding of the terms as well as within the company, videos from the founder of the company explaining why he created these words and 13 characteristics that every employee must have, and creating booklets for new and established crew members to take home in order to learn all about the Chipotle culture.
These tactics improve the knowledge and understanding of the “Chipotle lingot” The texts given to crew members about the Chipotle terms are not complicated and hard to understand. Nevertheless, they are jam»packed with details and almost always lead to another text. This photo is an example of a document giving out at a crew meeting, where managers and crew members are both involved in letting everyone know about new updates or changes to the Chipotle culture. Although most crew members already know the three most important terms, here is another reminder of the definitions and what they expect within their crew members. I interviewed five crew members in order to obtain their opinion on the implication of these terms in their careert Crew members were asked the questions: “What is your role here at Chipotle?” ‘ “Do you like working at Chipotle?” I “What does empowerment mean? High standards? Top performer?” 0 “Do you feel needed within your team?”
“Do you find the one»on-one with our managers helpful or annoying?” ‘ “What do you think is the most helpful resource when trying to learn the words?” Each member of the team contributes in a different way: Christy (cashier), Jacob (grill master), Jessica (burrito roller), Maria (take-out specialist), and Richard (focuses on prepping the foods for the next day). The Jacob and Maria seemed genuine when they said they love their job; however) the other three crew members only “like“ theirjob and seemed a little hesitant when I asked the question. All five members were able to give me a definition of each term that was relatively close to the store’s definition. When asked if they felt needed within their team, the Christy, Richard, and Jacob replied with a quick “definitely,” and gave examples of when other crew members have asked them for help or when they felt as if the store running smoothly was a task that landed on their shoulders.
“Of course I feel needed within our store; without my fast bagging and change counting skills, customers would be out the door 24/7!” Christy responded. The other two members said that they feel as if they need their team more than their team needs them. Maria said “there are moments that [she feels] needed like when someone asks [her] to do something that no one else knows how to do, or when a manager asks me to set up fundraisers to bring more people into the store.” Every crew member find the one-on-ones with our managers beneficial, “especially because it helps me focus on not only what I need to improve at, but what I already have improved at” said Jacobi Four of the five crew members agreed that taping the definitions onto the paper towel dispensers has aided them the most in learning the new terms. However, Jacob says that being asked my other crew members or a manager the definition of a term during a shift helps to associate the terms with the work being done.
Next I interviewed the managers, I chose one Kitchen Manager (KM) and one Service Manager (S.M), along with our Apprentice Manager (AM) and our General Manager (GiM). All of the managers were asked these questions: 0 “How long have you been a manager?” 0 “What made you want to become a manager?” I “As a manager, do you find it annoying or helpful having to teach crew members the new terms and how to apply them?” 0 “Do you find One-on-Ones and journaling effective or a waste of time?” I “Which source do you think is the most beneficial for crew members to learn the Chipotle terms?“ After stating the length of their management positions, which ranged from six months to four years, they started to tell me why they became managers. The K.M. and AM. gave similar answers, both feeling the urge to want to help improve other’s work skills while perfecting their own.
The S.M. was offered the chance to move up in the company, and in her words, “who could say no to more money?” while the GiMi (being the head manager of the store) says he first started moving up because he was interested in the “actual production of the store, [He] wanted to see where everything was coming from and how the company is actually run” All four of the managers seemed enthusiastic about their response when asked if they enjoy teaching new hires the Chipotle fundamentals. “I always feel like a teacher when I have to give the definition and ask for examples, It’s kinda like a fun game,” the SM. told me during our interview The manager interviewees also all agreed that the one-on-ones and journaling are very beneficial, not only to the crew members but to the managers. “Getting to know the crew personally is a huge deal within our company and makes the workers feel more like a family than a team,” stated the K.Mi The GiMl and SM, both agreed that they the paper towel dispenser posts are the most beneficial for the crew to learn the new terms, whereas the KlM thinks the one-on-ones are the most beneficial and the believes the best way to learn the terms is just from being exposed to examples of each term within the kitchen.
From the interviews alone, it seems as if every crew member and manager fully grasped the concepts given to them by Chipotle, and understands how to utilize different sources to achieve the same outcome: creating a sustainable culture of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. The majority of the interviewees believe that taping the definitions onto the door and at the paper towel dispensers is the most beneficial when trying to learn the terms, which explains why the definitions are known to well and exerted through their performance. Chipotle workers must wash their hands every time they plan to put on a new pair of gloves, meaning that their exposure to these definitions is very high. And usually, if they’re washing their hands to put on gloves, they are going to complete a new task, and reading the definitions while they were washing their hands creates more of a chance that the crew member will think of the terms while completing their job.
As Jacob mentioned, he feels that having a manager or crew member ask him for a definition while he is working on a shift is the best way to learn the words, I find this to be the most beneficial tactic as well, seeing as there are steps to achieve these terms that are best learned through experience. Thinking of examples of how to be empowered or how to achieve high standards while actually performing tasks is the best way to implement these steps on an everyday basis. Encouraging and enforcing these words in the Chipotle workplace have helped the crew members give better customer service to our devoted patrons. Having the knowledge of our “high standards” and what we look for in a “top performer” holds expectations of crew members to be higher and allows them to see where mistakes are being made within their own tracks to help improve their overall performance.