Steve Ells and Montgomery Moran
Chipotle’s co-CEOs don’t just serve burritos; they’ve also altered what was long seen as an immutable equation: fast food = junk food. No longer. Chipotle has inspired a generation of “natural” quick-serve restaurants and forced behemoths like McDonald’s to rethink their practices. In 2015 Ells and Moran swore off GMO ingredients and suspended a pork supplier for violating its animal-welfare standards. The ensuing carnitas shortage only improved the company’s image. Chipotle continues to beef up revenues and earnings, even fattening its margins as it expands. Still, the fiesta can’t continue indefinitely; same-store sales growth is slowing, and an E. coli outbreak in the Northwest could drive away some customers. Their recipe to stay hot: Invest in delivery and mobile ordering and expand the company’s nascent ShopHouse and Pizzeria Locale chains.