Remember, as a kid, sitting at the kitchen table and reading the back of the cereal box over and over again? We don’t know about you, but once we had figured out the puzzles and read the stories, if there was still milk in the bowl, we’d move on to reading the ingredients — we needed to keep our eyes and brains busy while mindlessly munching on Cheerios.
Now, Chipotle is betting that we haven’t outgrown the impulse to scan for something to read while eating alone; next time you find yourself eating a burrito bowl solo, there will be no need to reach into your pocket for your phone or dig through your bag for your Kindle — works by literary giants will now appear conveniently on the bags and cups containing your culinary delights.
The idea originally belonged to author Jonathan Safran Foer, who, while eating alone at a Chipotle restaurant, realized something was missing. He tells Vanity Fair that he reached out to the fast food chain’s CEO via email, saying something to the effect of:
“I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text.”
At least that’s how he paraphrased it to the magazine.
The company embraced the idea, and titled the campaign “Cultivating Thought.” Foer offered up some of his own work and also picked pieces by fellow authors that he felt would best accompany brief, but thoughtful lunch breaks. Text on the cups and bags will include musings by: Judd Apatow, Sheri Fink, Malcolm Gladwell, Bill Hader, Michael Lewis, Toni Morrison, Steve Pinker, George Saunders and Sarah Silverman.
We’re excited to have an excuse to frequent Chipotle even more (we have to read them all, right?). But if you’d rather have your literature without a side of guac (what’s wrong with you?!), you can read all of the selected pieces here.