The once customer favorite Mexican chain Chipotle is giving up on its burritos. Well, at least when it comes to its new business venture.
Chipotle officially announced on Thursday its plans to open a new burger restaurant this fall in Lancaster, Ohio.
The company's new burger joint will be called Tasty Made and will serve only burgers, fries and shakes to start.
"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."
However, following the Chipotle philosophy, its burger restaurant will serve food with "high-quality ingredients that are grown and raised with respect for the animals, the land and the farmers who produce them."
This includes antibiotic-free beef with no added hormones, and buns that will be made fresh and feature no preservatives, dough conditioners or other artificial ingredients. Even the shakes at Tasty Made will feature real ingredients, including milk, cream, sugar and eggs.
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." That was later dropped, but its plans were not.
The first location opening this fall will be at 732 N. Memorial Drive in Ohio, which is the home state of Chipotle culinary manager Nate Appleman and national training director David Chrisman, who will lead the project.
While many might think opening a burger restaurant might be a way to distract the public from the bad press Chipotle has received after its food safety issues as of late, this is not the first non-Mexican food venture the company has embarked on. It opened ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen in Washington back in 2011, and also invested in the Colorado-based restaurant Pizzeria Locale.
If successful, Tasty Made could help the company get back on track after its stocks have plummeted. A recent report found that customers continue to be turned off after Chipotle's E. coli crisis. It may take even longer than expected for people to start craving burritos from the chain again, but at least it gets a fresh start in Ohio with its burgers.
Photo: cyclonebill | Flickr