The workers at Chipotle Mexican Grill on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile quickly and efficiently turn out “gourmet” burritos and tacos with organic and local ingredients for scores of shoppers, tourists and businesspeople strolling this famously tony stretch of Michigan Avenue just north of the Chicago River. The popular chain prides itself on offering “food with integrity” and cultivates a hip, sustainable image.
But a report released December 4 by the groups Action Now and Standup Chicago! notes that the two co-CEOs of Chipotle, Steve Ells and Monty Moran, earned a combined $38.9 million in 2011 while Chipotle workers are almost all part-time employees who earn around $9 an hour. This, the report says, means the CEOs roughly earn in an hour what a Chicago Chipotle worker earns in a year.
Such a differential is not unique to Chipotle; it characterizes nearly all the 50-plus publicly traded retail and restaurant outlets in downtown Chicago that the report analyzes. Urban Outfitters CEO Glenn Senk, for example, made $28.9 million total in 2010; and retired McDonald’s CEO James Skinner received a $21 million departure package.