DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has announced the appointment of Jim Slater as the company’s managing director in Europe. Based in the U.K., Slater has made a career of building successful European brands, including Costa Coffee, Bombay Sapphire Gin, and Sunderland Association Football Club. As managing director at Chipotle, Slater will oversee the strategy, development and growth of Chipotle’s European business.
“Jim not only believes in our commitment to change the way people think about and eat fast food, but he also celebrates our vision of building teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman, and co-CEO. “We have great confidence in his abilities and expertise, and believe his leadership will help us enhance and grow our business in Europe.”
Slater most recently served as the managing director of Costa Coffee in the U.K. and Ireland, overseeing 2,200 stores and more than a billion dollars in sales. At Costa, he was instrumental in the efforts that resulted in Costa becoming bigger in the U.K. than Starbucks, Nero, Pret a Manger and Eat combined. He and his team won Marketing Society’s “Brand of the Year” award in 2011, and became The Times’ “Brand of the Decade” in 2014. Slater laid a classic blue-chip career foundation with Mars, Kraft and Diageo before joining the soccer team he supported since childhood, Sunderland AFC, as commercial and marketing director in 1998.
“Chipotle’s commitment to better food from ingredients raised and grown with respect for animals, farmers and the environment is consistent with how many Europeans eat and the brand is one that really resonates with customers here,” said Slater. “Looking at the success of Chipotle in the U.S., I know the company has tremendous opportunity in Europe and I look forward to continuing to develop the Chipotle brand in these markets.”
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, including 24 Chipotle restaurants outside the US and 14 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates four Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.