Have you ever noticed that where there is a Noodles restaurant, there is almost always a Chipotle restaurant close by? Is this a coincidence, or a planned tactic for these two restaurant chains in Minnesota? Students Aubrey Austin and Amy Gosewisch were very intrigued by this question and wanted to explore it using GIS.
The students concluded that there is most definitely a relationship between the two restaurant chains, though they are not owned by the same company as far as can be discovered. There are 24 Noodles restaurants and 47 Chipotle restaurants currently in Minnesota, and one can see from the maps that they tend to locate near each other. In almost every case of a Noodles restaurant, there is a Chipotle nearby. But it is possible to have a Chipotle restaurant without a Noodles in its immediate neighborhood.
Interestingly, this reflects (or influences?) the habits of students in the GIS class: of the students who frequent these restaurants, most students frequent both, while some students frequent only Chipotle. No student, however, goes to Noodles but not to Chipotle.
In Minnesota, Noodles and Chipotle restaurants are found in the Twin Cities metro area, Rochester, Mankato, and St. Cloud–but not Duluth.