Cheese lovers rejoice: Queso could be coming to a Chipotle near you
Potatoes and cheese go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly, but Chipotle has refused to sell the Tex-Mex favorite – so far.
Chipotle Mexican Grill debuted several new Monday menu products, including cheese, two types of frozen margaritas and a salad in their public test kitchen in New York’s upcoming kitchen.
“Cheese is something that has been called for many years, almost since we started,” said Mark Crumpacker, marketing director.
Each one is different but, hopefully, Crumpacker expects cheese that takes place in the test kitchen for about a month, then goes to multiple markets around the country.
California and Colorado could potentially be the first places to find cheese, according Crumpacker.
Take this round the restaurant at home for garnish or guacamole salad. Video provided by Newslook Sabor
New menu items are rare. Chipotle has historically refused to sell cheese because of the additives needed to keep food stable on the line.
The chain burrito is marked in the “food with integrity.” Their full menu requires only 60 natural ingredients.
Two of these ingredients – potato starch and tapioca – were the key to natural cheese, although a slightly grainy version than its competitors.
“When compared to the more synthetic, it has a different texture. But the cheese is melted, and this is the cheese actually looks like,” Crumpacker said.
The new menu items are part of a larger effort to push the popular Mexican chain out of the crisis that began two years ago after an outbreak of E. coli. Chipotle’s profits fell 95% in 2016 due to the health problem.
Despite gifts and loyalty programs, a recent malware attack on customer data and rising prices have made it even harder to recover customers.
The addition of new menu items, in particular, is intended to help Chipotle to avoid competition from other channels.
“This is something our competitors have done for many years, and we know that this is one of the reasons why people choose to go to other Mexican chains,” Crumpacker said.