In 2017, Chipotle was looking for ways to improve customer experience at its restaurants – and thus drive revenues – when it found its answer: Scott Boatwright.
A senior executive with a ton of industry experience, Boatwright was brought on board as Chipotle’s Chief Restaurant Officer (CRO,) making him the first person to ever serve in such a position during the restaurant chain's 24 years of existence. At the time of his appointment, having a CRO was by no means a sure way of improving a restaurant business, but the move seems to have paid off. Reporting directly to founder and CEO Steve Ells, Boatwright's numerous achievements as CRO include accelerating comparable sales for 6 quarters running. Part of his secret sauce appears to be his ability to drive the integration of new technology into restaurants, yielding impressive results like the improvement of the overall guest experience. Today, he is responsible for overseeing operations for 2,600 company-owned restaurants with more than 85,000 employees. To help quantify Boatwright's influence, during his tenure, he's helped more than double Chipotle’s share price, even achieving an all-time high during the pandemic.
Prior to Chipotle, Boatwright spent 18 years with Arby’s Restaurant Group in various leadership positions. Most recently, he served as the Senior Vice President of Operations, where he was responsible for the performance of more than 1,700 Arby’s restaurants across the U.S. A highly valued executive, he helped grow sales 9.2% in his first year at Arby's. This was followed by a staggering streak of 26 consecutive quarters of continued sales growth.
Boatwright, who holds an MBA from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, was named to Fast Casual’s "2020 Top 25 Executives" list. Alongside his job at Chipotle, Boatwright is actively involved in volunteer work and provides insight and expertise to numerous board-level organizations. Currently, he serves as a member of the Georgia State University alumni board, the National Restaurant Association’s Fast Casual Industry Council, and the non-profit Share Our Strength board. Previous board experience also includes the Arby's board and the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.