Chipotle wants to add dessert to the menu 2022-04-27 09:29:06

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The company He has been trying to invent a dessert option for years. In 2017, she tested buñuelos, a crunchy cinnamon treat with chocolate sauce. The following year, Chipotle Mexican Chocolate Shake Offered In her experimental kitchen in New York. The chain also considered churros as an option. But so far, nothing has been posted.

“We continue to work hard to try and discover a dessert proposal” or other “extra” items like queso or guacamole, CEO Brian Niccol said during an analyst call Wednesday to discuss the chain’s first-quarter results.

New menu items are an important tool for restaurant chains, which they use to attract customers to stores and help create buzz around their brands. Chipotle typically releases two to three new menu items each year.

“We are constantly exploring new innovations in the menu, and desserts are an area where we see opportunity,” said Chris Brandt, the company’s chief marketing officer, in an emailed statement.

“Two items in this category have been tested over the past few years, however, we are not ready to push anything through the official stage portal process yet,” he added, referring to Chipotle’s official testing process.

Get new menu items right

Toppings in particular are a great way to increase the average size of your check, as customers who have lunch or dinner may decide to add a side like queso or guacamole.

But it wasn’t always easy for Chipotle to get these items right. When the queso brand launched in 2017, the cheesy dip got poor reviews with customers Complaining that the texture was “gritty”, And the flavor is “like chalk”. company I changed the recipe Shortly after the initial launch, the Submit another copy in the year 2020.

Lately, the series has had better luck with the new items.

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Chipotle was launched last month polo asado nationally for a limited time. The grilled chicken option is the first innovation in the chicken recipe series in its history. “The reaction has been fantastic,” Nicole said during the call. Chipotle’s second quarter, he added, is off to a good start thanks to Pollo asado, “our most popular new protein to date.”

The company’s rewards program, which has nearly 28 million members, can help the chain see how menu items resonate with customers, Chipotle CTO Curt Garner told CNN Business.

“We have an ongoing challenge right now with our rewards program where we give people extra reward points for…trying all of our proteins,” he said. “Then we lean in and understand – did their behavior change after they tried the different proteins?” This insight helps inform the company of its thinking regarding the type of menu items that can work well with customers, he said.

In addition, the application helps in raising awareness of new items as well as existing ones that may attract specific customers.

Higher prices, better employment

Even without candy or other new additions, Chipotle’s sales are on the rise. In the three months ending March 31, sales at restaurants open for at least 13 months jumped 9% and total revenue grew 16% to $2 billion. Chipotle stock jumped about 5% before the market opened on Wednesday.

Chipotle (CMG) Raising prices by about 4% at the end of the first quarter, Remarkably after their upbringing last year. So far, customers are not too worried. “We’ve seen … very little resistance to pricing,” Nicholl said.
The higher prices help the company cover increased costs, such as avocados, tortillas and dairy products. It also helps offset higher wages. Last year, the company announced that it is Increasing the salaries of restaurant workers An average of $15 an hour. In addition to the wage increase, Chipotle assures employees that they will have the opportunity to move up the ladder at the company.

The tactics have paid off. “Employment levels at Chipotle are better today than they were in 2019,” said Nicholl. The company is also testing the automation of its kitchens to help speed up service and allow workers to spend more time on higher-priority tasks.

CNN Business’s Jordan Valinsky contributed to this report.

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