McDonald’s was a major contributor to Chipotle’s success.
The burger chain made an investment in Chipotle in 1998 that helped it grow from 14 locations to nearly 500 within seven years. By 2005, McDonald’s had a 90% stake in Chipotle’s business.
But one year later, McDonald’s divested its stake and parted ways with the fledgling burrito chain.
Now Chipotle has more 1,800 locations and business is booming, while McDonald’s is battling declining sales and traffic, a damaged public perception, and a relationship with franchisees that has hit an all-time low.