Chipotle says it plans to open burger restaurant

07/29/2016 03:00 |

Chipotle says it plans to open burger restaurant

The company first opened Chipotle Mexican Grill in 1993 with the mission to provide customers with good quality food made from fresh ingredients that was served fast but without the traditional fast food atmosphere. McDonald's dipped 0.4%, Restaurant Brands rose 0.9%, Shake Shack lost 0.5% and Habit climbed 1.3%.

Rumors have been swirling for months about Chipotle's plans to go into the burger business after it first filed a trademark for the name "Better Burger". Chipotle already operates two other non-Chipotle growth seed restaurants - ShopHouse and Pizzeria Locale.

The move into burgers comes at a rough time for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., which is still fighting to bring customers back after an E. coli outbreak and norovirus cases sent sales plunging starting last fall.

Sales in the restaurant sector appeared to slow during the second quarter due to aggressive value offerings and consumers' economic uncertainty.

"We think there's great strength in that original fast food model and wanted to create a restaurant built around that", says Chipotle CEO Steve Ells. The menu will focus on and feature only burgers, fresh-cut French fries, and milkshakes.

Chipotle is likely launching a new brand to try and recoup losses from its namesake brand.

The first location opening this fall will be located at 732 N. Memorial Drive in OH, which is the home state of Chipotle culinary manager Nate Appleton and national training director David Chrisman, who will lead the project. If its 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.

He said the company is trying to change the way people think about and eat fast food.

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