Steve Ells Net Worth: A Look At The Founder Of Chipotle's Wealth In 2023

The Rise of Steve Ells

In the early 90s, Steve Ells was just a culinary school graduate with a dream of opening his own restaurant. Little did he know, his creation would become a cultural phenomenon and make him a multi-millionaire. Ells founded Chipotle Mexican Grill in 1993, with the goal of providing customers with a fast-food option that was fresh and healthy.

Chipotle’s success was almost immediate. The first location, in Denver, Colorado, quickly gained a following and within five years, there were over 16 locations across the United States. By 2023, Chipotle has over 3,000 locations, making it a staple in the fast-casual dining industry.

Steve Ells’ Net Worth in 2023

With the continued success of Chipotle, it’s no surprise that Steve Ells’ net worth has continued to grow. As of 2023, his estimated net worth is $600 million dollars.

Ells’ wealth comes from his ownership of Chipotle stock, as well as his salary as the company’s CEO. In 2023, he still holds a 3% stake in the company, which is worth over $500 million dollars. Additionally, his annual salary is $10 million dollars.

The Impact of Chipotle on the Fast-Food Industry

Chipotle’s success has not only made Steve Ells a wealthy man, but it has also had a significant impact on the fast-food industry. Before Chipotle, fast food was often associated with unhealthy options and questionable ingredients. Chipotle’s use of fresh, high-quality ingredients and customizable menu options has set a new standard for the industry.

Many fast-food chains have since followed in Chipotle’s footsteps, offering healthier options and more transparency about their ingredients. This shift in the industry can be attributed, in part, to the success of Chipotle.

Steve Ells’ Philanthropic Efforts

Despite his immense wealth, Steve Ells has remained committed to giving back to his community. In 2011, he founded the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which supports sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.

The foundation has donated over $10 million dollars to various organizations and has helped fund initiatives such as school gardens, farmer education programs, and culinary scholarships.

The Legacy of Steve Ells and Chipotle

Steve Ells’ vision for a fresh, healthy fast-food option has had a lasting impact on the industry. Chipotle’s success has made him a wealthy man, but it has also influenced the way people think about fast food.

In 2023, Chipotle remains a popular choice for diners all over the world. And while Steve Ells may no longer be the CEO of the company, his legacy lives on through the continued success of his creation.


Steve Ells’ net worth in 2023 is a testament to the success of Chipotle and his vision for a healthier fast-food option. His philanthropic efforts and commitment to sustainability have also made him a respected figure in the culinary world.

As Chipotle continues to grow and evolve, it’s clear that Steve Ells’ legacy will continue to influence the fast-food industry for years to come.