Words from the Wise – Jacob Sumner

Words from the Wise – Jacob Sumner

Jacob Sumner, Lead restaurateur/managing director at Chipotle UK, shares his business secrets

Build great teams and empower top performers to reach high standards
Creating a culture that recognises and empowers top performers will have a positive impact on business. At Chipotle, top performers take ownership of their responsibilities so they can work their way up from hourly crew to top management positions. One hundred per cent of our restaurateurs - our most elite restaurant managers - in the UK began as crew members. We intend to keep it that way.

Financially reward managers based on employee development
Don't base success purely on unit sales; instead, evaluate and reward performance on the basis of a person's ability to develop future leaders from those working in hourly crew positions.

Ensure the sustainability of your supply chain
Steve Ells founded Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast-food experience. Today, we maintain a unique food culture with a strong belief in "food with integrity". Through our vision to improve the quality of what we serve, Chipotle uses ingredients that are not only fresh, but - where possible - are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food.

Create a strong company culture
By creating a great people culture with a shared passion for sustainable business practices, environmental awareness and social responsibility you will, in turn, create an incredible company culture.

Be yourself
I am interested in hiring people to work at Chipotle who allow their core attributes and characteristics to shine without putting on a show. We can train you how to run a wonderful restaurant and treasure each customer; the rest, well, it's who you are. Our teams proudly interview hundreds of candidates before the entire crew is willing to select just one to join the team. That is how to build a strong culture: allow people to be themselves and make decisions as a team.

Best piece of advice ever
This came from Monty Moran, co-CEO of Chipotle: Everyone should be aware of their critical importance to the team and create a clear career path for every individual in the company, from hourly crew members to restaurant managers.

This school of thought is shaping Chipotle as we grow. The success of any company depends on attracting and developing great people.

By leveraging employee passion for Chipotle and promoting from within, we are not only having a positive impact on our restaurants today, but developing future leaders who will help ensure our long-term growth and success.

2004 Chipotle, Denver, Colorado, crew member
â- 2005 MBA in international business, University of Denver, Daniels College of Business
â- 2006-09 Chipotle, regional area manager for Central USA
â- 2010 Chipotle, lead restaurateur overseeing UK business. Opened first Chipotle in Europe at Charing Cross Road, London, in May 2010

Business motto
Take ownership of your responsibilities, and pride in supporting one another's advancement. Recognise that your own individual success is based on the success of those around you. Encourage, teach, motivate and inspire others to feel empowered to make decisions.

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Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


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