Supply Chain Management Essay: Internal Process Analysis in Chipotle Mexican Grill and McDonald's

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Harvey Mudd College
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The phrase internal process characterizes the primary indicators in an organization, which portray the management interventions that can be adopted to affect the entitys customers and monetary outcomes. There are a variety of reasons why an ideal internal process can be effective for an organization. Among them is the reason that a good internal process helps in streaming an organizations operations, leveraging competencies and achieving operational excellence among others (Yost, 2009). This is an internal process evaluation analysis of the Chipotle Mexican Grill and McDonalds restaurants in the United States, which illustrates the effectiveness of their performance.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Internal Process Analysis

Chipotle is an American-based chain of restaurant stores that also operates in the United Kingdom, France, Germany as well as Canada. Since its establishment in 1993 by Steve Ells, the corporation has grown significantly into a gigantic company operating in over 2000 locations (Smith, 2012; Williams, 2015). Arguably, its excellent performance in the market can be accredited to the efficient management of the internal processes of all its establishments. Nevertheless, in 2015, the restaurant brand was faced with a food contamination crisis that led to its closure temporary (Daft, 2017). An analysis performed by the organizations officials evidenced that in order to eradicate such occurrences again in the future, the companys internal process needed to be modified.

Suppliers and Farmers from the Local Farms

Customers at Various Chipotle Mexican Grill Restaurants

Distribution Centers

Processing Facilities

Figure 1: The image shows a simple flow chart of Chipotle Mexican Grill in 2015 before the food contamination crisis outbreak.

Chipotle Mexican Grill attains the suppliers of their raw material from 100 suppliers who deliver a total of 64 ingredients (Berfield, 2015). Also, the restaurant buys its products in the local firms from farmers who reside with a radius of 350 miles from the Restaurant (Berfield, 2015). Nevertheless, following the food contamination outbreak in 2015, the corporations officials identified the need to introduce the use of centralized kitchens, as a key component in the companys supply chain (Berfield, 2015).

The centralized kitchen system was likened to those used by the McDonalds, and they characterize areas where all ingredients collected by the suppliers are collected, examined, cleaned and treated before being taken to the distribution centers. In this case, adopting the centralized kitchens would ensure that any impurities or disease-causing microorganisms in the food ingredients are treated and eradicated before being distributed to various branches of the Chipotle Mexican Grill establishments.

McDonalds Internal Process Analysis

McDonalds is another American-based chain of restaurants. The restaurant was established in 1940, and it is considered to be the largest in the United States (Crandall, Crandall, & Chen, 2014). For decades, McDonalds has been a preferred restaurant choice for numerous people, and it has not faced a recent operational crisis. Moreover, the restaurants simplest internal process is as shown below.

Suppliers Supply Food Ingredients

Centralized Kitchens to Allow Food Inspection, Cleaning and Treatment

Products Are Taken to Distribution Centers

Products Are Delivered to the Restaurants

Customers Order at the Restaurants

Figure 2: The image is portraying a simple flow chart diagram of McDonalds restaurant supply chain.

The McDonalds supply chain can be improved by adding the food quality checkpoint. Such a checkpoint in the supply can be used to standardize the quality of food ingredients attained from the suppliers from the farms. Moreover, all the agricultural foodstuffs at this point should be controlled by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials. This is important as it will further promote the McDonalds reputation in the market, as being a provider of high-quality food products in the market.

Suppliers Supply Food Ingredients

Food Quality Assurance Checkpoint

Centralized Kitchens to Allow Food Inspection, Cleaning and Treatment

Products Are Taken to Distribution Centers

Products Are Delivered to the Restaurants

Customers Order at the Restaurants

Figure 3: An image of a flow chart diagram portraying the recommended supply chain for the McDonalds corporation.

Strategies and Informal Thought Process Employed to Reach the Conclusion

The quality and safety of foodstuffs are among the most important factors that must be enforced in the hotelier and hospitality sector. This is also because a slight contamination of food can cause a catastrophic food poisoning repercussion. Such a scenario can be related to the Chipotle Mexican Grill contamination crisis that resulted in hundreds of persons being hospitalized from food contamination. Moreover, numerous government agencies in the United States are focused on promoting the safety standards of food offered to the public. Among them include the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agency among others (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2017).

Moreover, the Six Sigma methodology of quality control can be employed in the both the Chipotle Mexican Grill and McDonalds restaurants. This is because the method only allows a defect ratio of 3.4 for every one million units of products services. Nevertheless, the ISO quality benchmarking technique would not be very effective in ensuring that high-quality standards of food are maintained in the organization. This is because the method is primarily focused on customers satisfaction through their feedback on using the products.

Furthermore, the lean supply chain process is not appropriate for promoting the quality and safety of food in the restaurants because it is primarily focused on the elimination of waste products from a supply chain. However, total quality management (TQM) could be used in the restaurants because it is focused on promoting the long-term success of an entity through customers satisfaction. In this case, the restaurants attain high customer satisfaction results in their usage of high quality and safe ingredients in their meals; they will continue building a good market reputation.


In conclusion, the internal processes of Chipotle Mexican Grill and McDonalds are different based on the quality standards of food they have offered to the public in the past. Also, McDonald's have maintained a good food safety and quality track record over the years, unlike the Chipotle Mexican Grill that faced a food contamination crisis in 2015. Additionally, in order to promote the safety and quality standards of the products offered to the consumers, organizations such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and McDonalds should modify and improve their internal processes. For instance, they should add centralized kitchen systems that allow for thorough food inspection and cleaning. Others can adopt the food quality assurance checkpoints in their internal process as an additional measure of promoting food quality.



Berfield, S. (2015, December 22). Inside Chipotles Contamination Crisis: Smugness and Happy Talk About Sustainability Arent Working Anymore. Retrieved from Bloomberg:

Crandall, R. E., Crandall, W. R., & Chen, C. C. (2014). Principles of Supply Chain Management, Second Edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Daft, R. L. (2017). Management, Loose-Leaf Version. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Smith, A. F. (2012). Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat, Volume 1. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

Williams, E. F. (2015). Green Giants: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses. New York: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Yost, D. (2009, December 1). Improving Internal Processes Your Companys Competitive Advantage. Retrieved from Enterprise Systems Media:



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