Make us your home page
Instagram

Chipotle branching out, plans to open burger restaurant

Chipotle announced Thursday that the company's first  burger restaurant will open in the fall in Lancaster, Ohio.  [Associated Press]

Chipotle announced Thursday that the company's first burger restaurant will open in the fall in Lancaster, Ohio. [Associated Press]

NEW YORK — Chipotle is branching out from burritos and plans to open its first burger restaurant.

A spokesman for the chain, Chris Arnold, said in an email Thursday that the company's first Tasty Made burger restaurant will open this fall in Lancaster, Ohio. Chipotle says the menu will be limited to burgers, fries and milkshakes.

The move comes at time when Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. already has its hands full trying to recover from an E. coli outbreak and norovirus cases that sent sales plunging starting last fall. The company has been giving away coupons for free burritos and stepping up marketing to win back customers, but sales were still down 24 percent at established locations in the second quarter.

Consumers have also already seen a proliferation of new restaurants promising higher-quality burgers, such as Shake Shack and Five Guys.

Given its struggles, Chipotle said last week that it was assessing its plans for future restaurant openings with "a more conservative lens." For this year, the company has said it plans to open between 220 and 235 Chipotle restaurants, on top of the more than 2,000 existing locations.

After filing a trademark application for "Better Burger" this year, Chipotle had noted that it previously said the "Chipotle model" could be applied to a wide variety of foods. Already, the company has an Asian food concept called ShopHouse, which lists 15 locations, and a pizza concept called Pizzeria Locale, which lists five locations.

Co-CEO Steve Ells said in a statement that early fast-food burger chains had "focused menus," and that Chipotle wanted create a restaurant built around that model. The company declined to provide additional details on the menu.

Before its recent setback, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. found enormous success in positioning itself as an alternative to traditional fast-food chains. That spawned numerous other "fast-casual" concepts that tout better ingredients, or a format where people can walk down a line and pick the ingredients that go into their order.

If Chipotle's burger concept were to expand, it would pose a bigger threat to McDonald's Corp., which previously owned a stake in the Denver-based company. McDonald's has been rolling out a "Create Your Taste" program in select restaurants that lets customers build their own burgers, but has not said how widely it plans to expand that option.

Chipotle branching out, plans to open burger restaurant 07/28/16 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2016 1:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  2. New stores coming to Tyrone Square Mall, like Bath & Body Works

    Retail

    Tyrone Square Mall will welcome a half dozen new stores, like Bath & Body Works and MidiCi's The Neapolitan Pizza Company, this summer.

  3. Target Corp. reaches $18.5 million settlement with 47 states over data breach

    Retail

    Target Corp. has agreed to pay Florida $928,963 out of a newly-announced $18.5 million settlement over a huge data breach that occurred in late 2013.

    Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have reached an $18.5 million settlement with Target Corp. to resolve the states' probe into the discounter's massive pre-Christmas data breach in 2013. 
[Associated Press]
  4. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall' bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Record rainfall in Los Angeles ultimately may end Tampa Bay's drought of hosting the Super Bowl.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 


Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)