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Chipotle Pirates Starbucks Exec To Become Its CIO: What Are The Plans Of The Fast Food Chain?

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Chipotle realizes how important mobile apps are for large food businesses, and wants to make sure its clients tap into the resource. That is why it established a position of chief information officer.

Curt Garner is the future CIO of the company and is due to begin work on Nov. 23, Chipotle announced. Garner was an employee of Starbucks Corp. for no less than 18 years, the last three of which he spent as the coffee chain's CIO.

Last week, the public found out that Garner's departure from Starbucks was settled and signed. Starbucks sets the tone in hiring technology specialists when it announced the hiring of Gerri Martin-Flickinger, CIO at Adobe Systems Inc, for the CIO position.

The fact that Garner will occupy Chipotle's CIO position came just a few days after that. Jack Hartung is the CFO of Chipotle, who will supervise Garner in his attributions.

Steve Ells, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle declared that the company aims to enhance customer experience with mobile technology. A constant preoccupation for the company is to reduce waiting times in its around 2,000 restaurants.

Starbucks is a successful business model in this respect. During the time Garner was with the coffee vendor, mobile orders rose to 20% of total U.S. sales.

Chief creative and development officer at Chipotle, Mark Crumpacker, underlined the restaurant's efforts to be up to date with consumer trends. In a quarterly earnings call in July he evaluates what results came from the cooperation between Apple Pay and Chipotle.

"[Chipotle] create a technology platform that is on par with the leadership they have already established in terms of their food culture, people culture, and unit economic model," Garner pointed out.

Crumpacker added that the Mexican restaurant chain focuses on improving the accuracy of its mobile ordering app. Since April, Apple Watch owners have been able to order Chipotle food from their wrist.

The sales of the Denver-based restaurant chain is ascending. From $3.2 billion in 2013 to $4.1 billion for 2014, the solid 28% is promising. The company scheduled over 200 new restaurants in 2015.

Chipotle's restaurant portfolio encompasses 1,783 locations, from which 11 are Asian Kitchen and Pizzeria Locale places that cater to exotic tastes.

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