After some months of speculation, Chipotle confirmed that it will indeed launch a burger chain this fall in OH, just outside of Columbus.
Chipotle executives confirmed Thursday that it will open a restaurant in Lancaster, Ohio, this fall that will serve burgers, fries and shakes with the same commitment to sustainable ingredients as the company's namesake brand.
"Early fast food burger restaurants generally had focused menus", said Chipotle founder Steve Ells in the release. Chipotle shares tumbled on news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating an outbreak of E. coli that may be unrelated to a previous one in November that led to 53 cases in nine states.
"Chipotle has been focused on a long-term vision to change the way people think about and eat fast food", said Ells. Chipotle profits plunged 82% last quarter as the company resorted to pricey promotions aimed at luring customers back.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is thinking outside the tortilla and plans to open its first burger joint. Also, milkshakes will be made using milk, cream, sugar, eggs and "other natural ingredients", the company said.
The company filed a trademark application for the phrase "Better Burger" in March but later ditched the phrase.
"Making only burgers, fries and shakes with really great ingredients, we think we can appeal to people's timeless love of burgers, but in a way that is consistent with our long-term vision", he said.
Chipotle turned to Nate Appelman, a James Beard Award-winning chef, and David Chrisman, a longtime Chipotle executive, to develop the burger concept.
Tasty Made isn't Chipotle's first venture beyond tortillas. With the rapid success of the burrito market, Chipotle later opened ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, which mixes up Thai and Vietnamese culinary delights, and Pizzeria Locale that boasts of fresh pizza made to order from the menu or that you build yourself to be made from a choice of dozens of toppings.