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Have you ever sat in a Chipotle and wondered, what am I supposed to read if my phone ran out of battery power and I don’t have a newspaper? Well, now you won’t have to worry about that. The Mexican food chain announced a new project called “Cultivating Thought,” which features short stories by acclaimed authors printed on its cups.
The genesis for the idea came from Eating Animals novelist and vegetarian Jonathan Safran Foer, who was sitting at a Chipotle with nothing to read. “I really just wanted to die with frustration,” he told Vanity Fair. Then, he decided to email Chipotle CEO Steve Ells with his idea to put text on bags and cups.
Surprisingly, Ells liked the idea and agreed. Foer, Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, Michael Lewis and other authors contributed short stories and essays that would fit on cups and bags. The full text of each is also available online at Cultivating Thought.com.
The authors were all selected by Foer, who also edited each contribution.
“I selected the writers, and insofar as there was any editing, I did it,” he explained to Vanity Fair. “I tried to put together a somewhat eclectic group, in terms of styles. I wanted some that were essayistic, some fiction, some things that were funny, and somewhat thought provoking.”
Chipotle is known for its more adventurous advertising campaigns and have reached out to plenty of artists in the past. Last fall, Fiona Apple sang for the company to promote its “Scarecrow” app.