Skip to comments.U.S. fast food caught in immigration crosshairs
Posted on 02/08/2011 12:52:15 PM PST by wbill
LOS ANGELES/DALLAS (Reuters) Chipotle Mexican Grill has a lot going for it -- an upscale burrito concept, a hip and eco-friendly image, expansion plans galore and a 500 percent-plus stock price gain in just over two years.
And then it has something not going its way -- a federal crackdown on its immigrant labor force that has so far forced Chipotle to fire hundreds of allegedly illegal workers in the state of Minnesota, perhaps more than half its staff there.
The probe is widening. Co-Chief Executive Monty Moran told Reuters on Friday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also issued "notices of inspection" for restaurants in Washington D.C. and Virginia.
Investors in the Wall Street darling are taking note and one firm, Calvert Investments, plans to talk to Chipotle about the large number of undocumented workers uncovered.
Dependence on illegal labor is the elephant in the room for the U.S. restaurant business. And experts say the Chipotle ICE investigations are a wake-up call for an industry that is one of America's biggest employers and generates over $300 billion in annual sales, according to research firm IBISWorld Inc.
Chipotle -- a Denver-based company whose motto is "Food With Integrity" -- is one of the most well-known names caught in the immigration enforcement shift that began two years ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
The article is worth a read. I enjoyed some of the sob stories with it. One guy couldn't understand why he was getting let go, even though he admitted to being here illegally, and falsifying all of the documents required for employment.
If your business CANNOT exist w/o breaking the law, then it DOES NOT DESERVE TO!
First offence - fine per employee and more frequent reviews.
Second offence - loss of business license for 1 yr.
I’ll be they manage to screen their employees a little better, if they had a vested interest in obeying the law.
Mexicans in a burrito joint? Who would suspect that?
I love Chipotle’s food, but there are plenty of unemployed American citizens that would be willing to do the work instead of illegal aliens. Just post s “now hiring” flier at the local high schools and community colleges and the applicants will come.
This is so widespread that it is almost impossible to go into any restaurant or fast food place without hearing Spanish spoken.
Must be why my family can go get burritos so cheap...I mean where else can you get four burritos and four cokes for ONLY $38??!!
“Food With Integrity” Sounds like a newspeak slogan.
But not with any niggling legality so it would seem.
I have been to many Taco Time fast food outlets and notice few if any Hispanics working there. Same goes for some of my favorite restaurants, EXCEPT for one Mexican restaurant.
Anyone care to comment?
I find it puzzling. It seems Chipotle has made conscious choices in who to hire, and no careful background screening of a potential employee is involved.
Gotta love food served by those with no vaccinations or hygiene skills ... Eat it up fools !!
The false documents, which include things such as driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and residence permits, are easy to come by “on the street,” said Tanya. “Many people offer them. It is part of coming here and trying to make a better life for your children.”
I never knew having kids put someone above the law and document fraud is all part of a better life.I would like to rob a few banks with that logic, for the kids, it’s for the kids.
IIRC, Chipotle is a McDonald’s venture. I won’t hold my breath waiting to read about McDonald’s getting rid of their illegal alien workers. Here in Austin many, if not all, McD’s are staffed to the gills with illegals.
Good! I'm sure there are hundreds of Somalis (or others) ready to take those jobs.
Some time ago, my current employer had an issue with one of the employees it had inherited from a company that it bought. The guy's immigration/work status was pretty murky, and he was working hard to keep it that way.
What surprised me was that there's not an easy way to determine an employee's status. It took about a year for my company to figure it out - he wasn't eligible to work, and was canned on the spot as soon as it was determined - and they were trying to stay on the up-and-up.
For a company like Chipotle, where it appears that they really don't pay a whole lot of attention to the law, the benefits of hiring illegals likely outweigh the risks. THIS is the piece that has to change, to clean up illegal immigration. At least IMO.
Why don’t we just quit beating around the bush and bring back indentured servitude?
If you can’t enforce laws againsts illegal labor when we’re facing 20% unemployment, you really have no chance.
They have a home; this isn’t it. They need to go there.
"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." (Atlas Shrugged 1957)
The kitchens of almost EVERY restaurant he in MA is FULL of mexicans, Brazilians, etc.
If you like real Mexican food you don’t eat there anyway. We have so many great ones in Chicago it makes life hard for those of us who love it. Most of them are staffed by illegals too, though. If I could figure out the spices in Bistek la Mexicana I wouldn’t have to go to them.
I spent around a month and a half in Chicago for work over the past 10 years.
I still cannot believe how many mexican joints you have up there.
Mexico is like 1,200 miles away!
Somebody once told me there that the illegals sneak in from Canada somehow.
Illegally working in, entering and sucking off the teat of my nation is wrong as is identity theft and tax fraud. They should be. If you have a problem with our immigration laws then tough.
If I missed the point of your post then I apologize.
I just thought you painted with a rather wide brush in your initial post. Also it looked like you were more critical of the business rather than the illegal alien.
If I misread your intent, I apologize right back atcha...
Worked out well for Ben Franklin. There might be some merit to it.
I'd say it's because Taco Time isn't really Mexican food - more an anglicized version of Mexican food. And it's more of a northern chain.
Here in Houston we don't have that problem (or any Taco Times). The big problem is getting the barely English speaking employees at Jack in the Box or McDonald's to understand you at the drive through. When I go to a Mexican restaurant here, I'm not surprised if the waitstaff doesn't speak perfect English. But McDonald's ? It's irritating as heck.
I wish Chipotle would have one day a week where the cilantro-to-rice ratio wasn’t 50/50. I might start eating there again....
Time to pay people a legal wage.
The government needs to go after those unwilling to hire a legal American.
The lie that an American won't do the job is a lie.
Pay people enough, they'll work
Oh I believe that both the business and the illegals are completely in the wrong and both should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
BTW, this was a nice back and forth of the kind that can quickly devolve into childish internet arguments. I am happy that we were able to think first rather than react first. Have a nice day.
A lot of service sector businesses have built their foundation on illegals. When we know out that foreign peasant labor option, there will be another round of economic bad times.
They were stupid to set up illegal operations. We have an unethical “international” business culture coming home to roost.
Fair enough, you have a great day too!
The only way you end this insatiable desire of greed by employers to hire illegals, who then will send the rest of us the bill, is to send the employers away to a local penitentiary for life.
You do this to one employer, widely publicize it on the media, and there will be thousands of employers that will end their illegal employment policies same day. The illegals will find their way back home too.
In America there is rarely accountability when it is needed.
I sent a similar suggestion to Thomas Donaghue (US Chamber of Commerce CEO) several years ago but he never replied. He has been on the forefront touting the need for more illegals and amnesty.
Better yet for the first offense put the owners in jail. Then you’ll see the change.