Curt Garner has joined Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. as the company’s first chief information officer, a position he most recently held at Starbucks Corp., the fast-casual operator said Monday.
Garner will report to Chipotle chief financial officer Jack Hartung. The appointment is effective Nov. 23.
“As we look for ways to create efficiencies in our restaurants and improve the customer experience through the strategic use of technology, Curt’s experience and expertise make him an ideal and welcome addition to our management team,” Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells said in a statement.
"Chipotle is a tremendous company with an important mission and remarkably loyal customers," Garner said. "I am thrilled to join such a dynamic organization at a time when investments in technology infrastructure can help the company create a technology platform that is on par with the leadership they have already established in terms of their food culture, people culture and unit economic model."
Garner was part of Starbucks’ information technology group for 18 years, starting as director of international information technology. In January 2008 he became vice president of global retail technology and, according to Starbucks’ website, was responsible for leading the development of the chain’s point-of-sale, labor and loyalty technology. He went on to serve as senior vice president of business technology, and became CIO in March 2012.
Starbucks has long been a leader among restaurants in customer-facing technology, including its mobile app that allows for advance ordering and payment.
Chipotle owns and operates more than 1,850 units, as well as 11 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants. It also is an investor in the company that owns and operates three Pizzeria Locale restaurants.