Everyone’s favorite fast casual Mexican food restaurant with a few issues regarding food contamination is going to try their (hopefully clean) hands at making burgers. A few weeks ago, Chipotle applied for a trademark on the phrase “Better Burger” which allegedly is part of a burger business plan.
This isn’t the first time that the Denver-based company has tested the waters with other culinary exploits. In 2011, Chipotle Mexican Grill launched ChopHouse; an Asian inspired restaurant to compete with P.F. Changs, and in 2013 they opened up Pizzeria Locale; a wood-fired artisan pizza restaurant in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. Chipotle’s new burger venture will be competing in an already heavily saturated arena of premium burger chains like Shake Shack, BurgerFi, and Five Guys.
It’s safe to say that Chipotle did not have a great 2015. Stocks plummeted and in February the chain had its worst quarterly performance since the company became publicly traded. I think something that starts with the letter “E” and ends in “coli ” had something to do with their poor sales.
The first E. coli outbreak in October 2015 affected 50 people in more than 11 states. Not to outdo themselves, Chipotle had a second E. coli outbreak two months later affecting five people in three states. The chain had to temporarily close locations. In February, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention ended their investigation and gave Chipotle’s rabid fans the green light to shove massive burritos with extra guacamole in their faces without having to fear that they’ll get sick worse than they usually do after eating a meal at Chipotle.