Once upon a time, McDonald's and Chipotle were a couple. McD's owned more than 80 percent of Chipotle's stock. They were good for each other. McDonald's helped Chipotle grow bigger, and Chipotle made McDonald's look cooler. They were kind of like the TomKat of the fast food world.
Then in 2006, the pair parted ways. They promised to stay friends, but really they had less and less in common as time went on. McDonald's still does its fast food thing the old-fashioned way, while Chipotle is into "food with integrity."
So why does everyone still think Chipotle is McDonald's bitch?
The other day on Facebook, I posted a sweet video Chipotle did with Willie Nelson covering Coldplay's "The Scientist." (See it below.) It's all about Chipotle changing its ways and trying to sell more sustainably grown and raised food -- they use meat and dairy free of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. A friend of mine responded:
Chipotle? The company owned by McDonald's? Is this suppose [sic] to make me feel warm and fuzzy about a company that engineers its food right down to the last molecule? Nice video, but I ain't buying it.
Poor little burrito company! When will people stop associating you with the Golden Arches? I'm starting to think Chipotle needs to have a large banner on its website and at its stores screaming, "WE'RE NOT OWNED BY MCDONALD'S! NOW SHUT UP AND BUY A BURRITO!"
But even if they were owned by McDonald's, is that the worst thing in the world so long as they keep serving the same ethical food? When we went to Disneyland this summer, I was thrilled to see Honest Tea as an option. Hooray, an alternative to soda! But Honest Tea is at Disneyland because Coke owns the little tea company with "honest ingredients." More and more the big, bad food companies are helping the little, good food companies grow. In fact, a lot of my favorite organic foods are actually owned by food companies I despise. So as long as the little guys get to keep the same values, we all win, right? Or should I be bothered that General Mills owns Cascadian Farms?
Did you think Chipotle was owned by McDonald's? Would that make you less likely to eat there?
Image via Chipotle.com