Let’s Taco ‘Bout Chipotle Delivery
by Katie Berry on Friday, April 24th, 2015
You might be a boarder who can’t get anywhere near Chipotle without considerable hassle. Or maybe you’re a day student whose parents don’t love you enough to drive you there. One thing is more or less certain: you really, really love Chipotle.
It is often the case that the majority of students at Milton wants Chipotle for lunch and only a select few can get it. Entrepreneurship Club’s new Chipotle delivery service is capitalizing on that imbalance. Trevor Hopkins (II), a member of the E-Club, and Matt Ward (II), a board member, brought the idea to float around during one of the club’s weekly meetings. Matt’s concept, a restaurant delivery by student drivers, was inspired by an assignment for his microeconomics class. After the club’s tri-heads—Ellen Askey (I), Caitlin Cheng (I), and Madeline Barnes (II) — “each led a group of board members to conduct basic market research for each idea by talking to students and faculty and sending out surveys, the club voted [Matt and Trevor’s delivery idea] most viable,” says Ellen.
The idea was refined into the Chipotle delivery system used today, one in which student buyers pay the price of their burrito or bowl (normally $6.80-$7.50) in addition to a small surcharge (of around $2.00-$2.50 taking into account sales tax) to cover the cost of delivery. Guacamole is also available for an extra $2. Customers receive their orders during the lunch period they specify.
Thus far, the business has conducted two rounds of deliveries—the first of which had 31 orders and the second 61—and accrued an approximate profit of $120. “However,” says Matthew Fishbein, one of E-Club’s faculty sponsors alongside Sarah Pinard, “revenue is not a driving motivator for the club…our members simply want to gain experience and insights into the challenges of forming and executing a new business plan.”
Ellen concedes that this particular plan has had its fair share of learning moments, although Talia Rubenstein (II) has heard only positive feedback and says that “people are really into it.” During the first round, ambiguity involving driver pay rates (now set to $10-$15 per trip) and mis-orders reduced the profit of the business. The second round, according to Ellen, was even “less successful.” Ellen says, “Everything went really smoothly the first time, so we thought, ‘Oh, we just get twenty more orders and everything will be great!’ But it wasn’t… we had to give a couple of refunds, and I had to hand-deliver orders to some people in class.”
The issue was a delay in delivery. Trevor, who drove for both rounds and formulated the idea alongside Matt, described the most recent round as pretty stressful, because “I was waiting in Chipotle for about twenty… minutes waiting for the order to be completed, and the entire time I knew kids at Milton were wondering where their burritos were. As a driver, much of the credibility of our service rides on me.”
Student buyers noted the delay. Neekon Vafa (I), who ordered Chipotle during the second round, received his order twenty minutes late, but “besides that [had] no complaints,” the senior says. Similarly, Mateen Tabatabaei (III) recalls that his arrived 45 minutes late, but he says he would nonetheless use the delivery service again, “because hopefully [E-Club] will have sorted out the hiccups.”
Eshani Chakrabarti (III) calls her delivery experience “the worst.” She explains that she had ordered a burrito for fifth period and didn’t receive it until some point during seventh period. “Also, there’s a fair shot I swiped Hari Patel’s (I) burrito…Chipotle makes people do crazy things,” she says. She adds, however, that “it was a bangin’ idea, and if they could just organize [it] better, it could be really successful.”
E-Club is already taking steps to avoid repeating the mistakes of its most recent delivery round. By splitting the orders between two different Chipotles or capping the number of orders, the club hopes to prevent both the student drivers and the Chipotle staff from becoming overwhelmed with orders. The club is also looking to ease the pressure on its drivers by hiring students to help them carry the orders to and from the car.
These changes are a testament to E-Club’s determination and will to serve the community; the club’s goal is “to spread an entrepreneurial spirit… [and to] help students develop an eye for problems and opportunities, plus the simple skills and knowledge they need to implement solutions,” says Ellen.
She adds that this particular venture, through its promise to donate half of its profit to a yet-unchosen charity, can perhaps convince individuals at Milton who “antagonize businesses” that entrepreneurship can help the community significantly. The other half of the profit will be capital for whatever enterprises E-Club conducts next year. There is no doubt that the delivery service comes with plenty of benefits to all involved; “we bring food variety to students, employ… student drivers, earn capital for future club projects, and gain business experience,” Ellen says.
Many students look forward to using the service again simply because they enjoy a good burrito. As Mateen says, “Chipotle is so damn good!”
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=6987