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Case Study: How Richlite paper composite material made Chipotle a leader in interior retail design

By July 9, 2015 July 27th, 2015 Richlite
Chipotle restaurant interior


Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle was having issues with its interior design materials, plywood and metal. The Plywood wasn’t durable enough, and the metal was subject to corrosion.


About two years ago, Chipotle switched to Richlite, a paper-based composite. The international company chose a combination of Richlite Black Diamond and r50 for its cash wrap counter, wall panels, trim, and casework, bench seats and chairs.

Richlite is used in all the new restaurants, and Chipotle is phasing the material into existing stores when they are scheduled for a remodel. The following photos are from our local Chipotle in Duluth, MN, which opened last year.

Richlite cash wrap counter at Chipotle
Richlite wall paneling at Chipotle
Richlite end cap at Chipotle
Chipotle bench made from Richlite

Chipotle’s previous chairs (made of Plywood) required annual replacement. With Richlite, the life of the chairs has increased by at least five-fold.

Chipotle chairs made from Richlite
Chipotle chair made from Richlite


Richlite is not only a sustainable alternative to wood, but it also offers numerous benefits. It is highly durable, scratch resistant and easy to clean. And for Chipotle, it still maintains the simple, industrial aesthetic the restaurant was trying to achieve.  Chipotle’s solution to use Richlite solved this issue and was also a sustainable choice supporting US made, low emitting materials.  Ultimately, using Richlite made Chipotle a leader in interior retail design.

Interested in how Richlite can be applied to your project? Contact us and we’d be happy to talk with you more about this sustainable, contemporary design solution. Want to buy a small piece of Richlite for a small project/prototype? Check out our Piece-o-Sheet website.

One Comment

  • I need this material for a restaurant in Meridian Idaho.
    I’m an architect and would love to get samples to show my client.

    would you please call me as soon as possible at 208-850-5653

    thanks, Robyn

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