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Chipotle has a 39-point list for good management

September 28, 2015, 6:18 PM UTC
Inside A Chipotle Restaurant Ahead of Earnings Figures
Employees prepare lunch orders at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant at Madison Square Park in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is expected to release earnings figures on Jan. 30. Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Craig Warga — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Most of the attention on Chipotle today will center on the news that the “carnitas crisis” of 2015 has ended with pork now back on the menu at most of the fast-casual restaurant chain’s locations.

But Chipotle’s intense management standards are also generating some quiet attention.

A story by Quartz looks at Chipotle’s (CMG) tough management system: a checklist of 39 points that are meant to determine if store managers are effective at their jobs. Co-CEO Monty Moran talked to Quartz about the system, noting some negatives that Chipotle looks for include “The vision is not clear to employees or they are not inspired by it” and “People are not aware of their opportunities at CMG or how they can advance.”

Whatever Chipotle is doing in terms of evaluations, it is clearly working.

Sales and profits have grown sharply in recent years, including a 17% increase in revenue and a 36% jump in net income for the first six months of 2015. That growth, propelled by new restaurant openings and consistently higher sales at existing locations, has lifted the stock by 322% the past five years.

Managers are being rewarded for helping fuel that growth. The company’s restaurateurs—managers of a restaurant, or multiple restaurants—earn more than $100,000, Quartz reports, with bonuses offered when employees are trained up to the general manager level.