The Fast-Food Ethicist

At his Chipotle restaurants, Steve Ells serves pasture-raised pork burritos and antibiotic-free chicken tacos. It's paying off

Miller Mobley for TIME

Steve Ells in New York City with Chipotle employees, who are hired based on 13 characteristics, four of which basically mean happy.

I would not be hired by Chipotle because I'm not happy enough. This information was delivered to me--gently and kindly--by Joe Miranda, the chipper, plump, patient manager at the Los Angeles branch where I had spent the morning grilling pasture-raised steaks, peeling locally grown avocados and dicing antibiotic-free chicken. The rapidly growing restaurant chain has 13 official characteristics every employee must have, and four of them basically mean happy. But if Miranda thinks I'm not qualified to make burritos because of insufficient cheeriness, then there is no way Steve Ells, the founder and a co-CEO of the company, could get a...

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