Chipotle (pronounced chi-POAT-lay): “It’s Not Me, It’s You”

Chipotle (pronounced chi-POAT-lay) reports second quarter earnings this week, and far more interesting than the earnings themselves—quarterly reports are, after all, backward-looking—will be whatever management chooses to divulge about the impact of last week’s norovirus outbreak at the Sterling, Virginia Chipotle (pronounced chi-POAT-lay), not to mention the mouse video taken at a Dallas Chipotle (pronounced chi-POAT-lay) that went viral at about the same time as the Sterling headlines were peaking.
We’ll dispense with the pronunciation of Chipotle (pronounced chi-POAT-lay) from now on—we only included it because the company does so on its Investor Relations web site, apparently on the presumption that potential investors in CMG stock are morons who don’t know how to pronounce that word.  That presumption stems, we think, from the world view of Steve Ells, the self-described “classically-trained chef” who created the first Chipotle, saw its potential and, to his everlasting credit, ran with it, and
Continue reading "Chipotle (pronounced chi-POAT-lay): “It’s Not Me, It’s You”"

Watson Takes Wimbledon

The Wimbledon tennis tournament, which starts Monday, will use IBM's artificial intelligence agent Watson to help direct fans to the most exciting matches, automatically generate video highlight reels and guide guests through the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
A voice-activated digital assistant called "Fred," named after British tennis great Fred Perry, will help those attending Wimbledon find their way around. Visitors can ask Fred for directions to the nearest strawberry stand, how to buy a Wimbledon towel or who is playing right now on Centre Court. Fred will also help visitors find other activities -- such as the children's play area -- they might want to check out while at the Club. The assistant is powered by Watson's natural language processing ability.
—Bloomberg, June 17

“Fred!  What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow afternoon?”
“Greetings!  Fred is a British interface to IBM’s massively Continue reading "Watson Takes Wimbledon"

If Donald Trump Ran a Publicly Traded Restaurant Chain The CEO Might Sound Like This

  You’d be forgiven if, after hearing the CEO of Chipotle describe its first ShopHouse Asian Kitchen restaurant concept that was opened in DuPont Circle a few years ago, you agreed with the cohort of Wall Street’s finest that declared ShopHouse might become the next leg of growth for the then-plenty-fast-growing-already purveyor of burritos and tacos “With Integrity.”
  You’d be forgiven because the CEO of Chipotle repeatedly—and by that, we mean more than a dozen times over the next few years—promoted the concept and often compared that first ShopHouse restaurant with the early days of Chipotle itself.
   In fact, so forcefully and frequently did the CEO push the ShopHouse-as-the-Next-Chipotle theme over the years, the more cynical among our readers would be forgiven for reading the following time-line of quotes from the Chipotle CEO and asking themselves, “Wait a minute, does Donald Trump run Chipotle on the side? Continue reading "If Donald Trump Ran a Publicly Traded Restaurant Chain The CEO Might Sound Like This"

Shazam! From The Boss to The King to John & Paul (but not George or Ringo), Not to Mention Jessica & Nick

2016 Editor’s Note:
  The switch to all-holiday music has started, and while we have not heard much new, it has, so far, been mercifully light on the Michael Bublé and wonderfully heavy on the Chrissie Hynde and Bing Crosby, although with no sign of The Boss, yet.
  Our beef this year is not with the current roll of holiday songs, or with any of the rock biographies weve been reading (Dee-Dee Ramone“Lobotomy: Surviving the Ramones, is even more hair-raising than Chrissie Hyndes book that we called out last year, and that takes some doing); our beef is with the SongFacts web site, which, as readers of this virtual column might imagine, ranks right up there with Bloomberg, FactSet and the Wall Street Journal as tools of our trade.
  Specifically, how does SongFacts not know that at 4 minutes 51 seconds Continue reading "Shazam! From The Boss to The King to John & Paul (but not George or Ringo), Not to Mention Jessica & Nick"

Shazam! From The Boss to The King to John & Paul (but not George or Ringo), Not to Mention Jessica & Nick

2016 Editor’s Note:
  The switch to all-holiday music has started, and while we have not heard much new, it has, so far, been mercifully light on the Michael Bublé and heavy on the Chrissie Hynde and Bing Crosby, although with no sign of The Boss, yet.
  Our beef this year is not with the current roll of holiday songs, or with any of the rock biographies weve been reading (Dee-Dee Ramone“Lobotomy: Surviving of the Ramones, is even more hair-raising than Chrissie Hyndes book that we called out last year, and that takes some doing); our beef is with the SongFacts web site, which, as readers of this virtual column might imagine, ranks right up there with Bloomberg, FactSet and the Wall Street Journal as tools of our trade.
  Specifically, how does SongFacts not know that at 4 minutes 51 seconds Continue reading "Shazam! From The Boss to The King to John & Paul (but not George or Ringo), Not to Mention Jessica & Nick"