Mod Pizza and Five Guys took home honorable mention for their food safety efforts.

Chipotle is the 2023 winner of FastCasual’s Excellence in Food Safety Award, which honors restaurants going the extra mile to protect their customers and employees by providing outstanding food safety.

Ryan Dittoe, Chipotle’s director of restaurant food safety and quality assurance, accepted the award during Sunday’s Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers gala in Chicago, which honored the industry’s most innovative brands of the year. Chipotle landed No. 63 on the list.

To facilitate the fifth annual Excellence in Food Safety Awards, Fast Casual partnered with Steritech, a company that helps restaurants develop programs that mitigate food safety risk, drive operational consistency and accelerate growth.

The selection process began with a nomination survey in which brands could be nominated by a brand representative, franchisee, employee, vendor or customer. Nominees provided information about their food safety culture, policies, practices and innovations.

A third-party marketing consultancy and research firm then conducted an independent assessment of the nominations to determine how they aligned with foundational food safety behaviors laid out in Steritech’s 7 Pillars of Food Safety Excellence:

  1. Senior Leadership Commitment and Engagement.
  2. Food Safety Communications.
  3. Defined Standards & Procedures.
  4. Training.
  5. KPIs/Scorecard.
  6. Oversight Program.
  7. Positive Recognition.

Based on this assessment, a group of semi-finalists was selected. The consultancy group then conducted in-depth interviews with these semi-finalists to determine the overall winners.

Chipotle came out on top with Mod Pizza and Five Guys earning honorable mentions.

“The three selected winners demonstrate that with the right mindset and focus, organizations of every size can successfully create dynamic food-safety cultures that put customer safety first,” FastCasual Editor Cherryh Cansler said.

Dave’s Hot Chicken took the top spot on the 2023 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers list. To see the rest of the list, download the free Top 100 report, sponsored by Givex, here.

About Networld Media Group

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading business-to-business (B2B) media communications company specializing in digital media, associations and events in the tech, banking, retail, and food service industries. Online business sites include,,,,,,,,, and Annual events include the Fast Casual Executive Summit, the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit, the Bank Customer Experience Summit (BCX), the Interactive Customer Experience Summit (ICX) and the Self-Service Innovation Summit. Annual executive events also include The Fast Casual Top 100 and Pizza Top 100 Award Galas.

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