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Posts Tagged ‘Chipotle Mexican Grill’

Taco Bell Takes on Chipotle with ‘Cantina’ Rebranding

Let’s be frank—the Taco Bell chain has never been known for the quality of its food. It’s a reliable source for beer-fueled midnight snack runs that your stomach will regret in the morning, but Chipotle has been the recognized leader in “quality” Mexican-style fare for some time. Its “food with integrity” tagline couldn’t be clearer.

Of course, the folks behind the Chihuahua would love to change that equation—and it seems like they’ve had some success with the “Cantina Bell” rebranding project and its celebrity chef spokesperson, Lorena Garcia. The goal of this exercise was clearly to compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is something of a “cult favorite” despite being a big-money national chain once owned by McDonald’s.

Well, it worked–According to the YouGov Brand Index, Taco Bell’s quality perception among consumers rose throughout the summer after it debuted the Cantina brand—and its scores are now closer to those of its nemesis. The success of the Cantina project even inspired venture capitalist David Einhorn to warn investors about buying shares of Chipotle—and the company’s stock value quickly dropped in response.

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Is Chipotle’s Change-Rounding Frugal or Sneaky?

Popular chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, which touts its organic ingredients and claims to follow a rough approximation of fair trade policies (though it was once owned by McDonald’s), found itself in a bit of hot water this week.

The issue? A story first broken by the New Jersey Star-Ledger revealed that the chain has adopted a computer program that rounds customers’ bills up or down to the nickel. Spokespeople claim that the practice helps save time wasted by counting worthless pennies, but some diners are seeing red.

While the literal pennies involved in each transaction don’t amount to much, they do build over time–and the practice may rub against certain rules established by Consumer Affairs that require retailers to be very clear about how much they’re charging and why. Read more