Are burgers and fries the boost Chipotle needs? Post E. coli scandal, the fast-casual Mexican restaurant famous for charging extra for their guac has been struggling. Sure, they started a loyalty program, and added chorizo to the menu. But now, they’ve entered a whole new arena of ground beef patties and french-fried potatoes.
No, this won’t be a Chipotle-plus situation, the new restaurant — which is set to make its debut in Lancaster, Ohio this fall — will be called Tasty Made, and will feature a limited menu of burgers, fries, and shakes.
“Early fast food burger restaurants generally had focused menus,” Chipotle founder Steve Ells said in a press release. “We think there’s great strength in that original fast food model and wanted to create a restaurant built around that. Making only burgers, fries and shakes with really great ingredients, we think we can appeal to peoples’ timeless love of burgers, but in a way that is consistent with our long-term vision.”
It sounds, um, a little familiar?
Where Tasty Made distinguishes itself from other “original fast food model” type restaurants is in the ingredients it intends to use: Responsibly Raised-brand beef, fresh, preservative-free buns, and shakes made with real ingredients such as milk, cream, eggs, and sugar.
Is this new Tasty Made burger business all one big diversion from the huge elephant in the room that is Chipotle’s food safety issues? Possibly. According to Eater, some analysts think the company should focus on strengthening its core business, rather than putting effort into offshoots such as Tasty Made. But this could all be incidental — Tasty Made has apparently been in the works for quite some time. (Remember when they tried to trademark the name “Better Burger” back in April?)
Whether it’s a diversion or not, the concept honestly sounds exciting. We just hope they can keep the Tasty Made name completely clean of any foodborne illness for awhile.