Chipotle had the reputation of being a healthy alternative fast casual restaurant that was very selective with its menu items, but as it tries to climb out of the hole dug by a plague of e. Coli outbreaks, it looks like they're throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
The Mexican grill's latest rollout of test menu items are far removed from its "healthy" reputation, as they include quesadillas, nachos, tostadas, and even a Mexican chocolate milkshake.
Yes, you might soon be able to get a milkshake at Chipotle.
While none of their new menu items are particularly exclusive to any restaurant, it does feel like Chipotle is taking a page out of Taco Bell's innovation book. After all, they are a major competitor in the Mexican-inspired fast food world.
Over the last decade, Taco Bell has had a barrage of innovative menu items, and it has been difficult for fast food competitors to keep up. Between burritos that feature Fritos and at one point even Pop Rocks, and nacho fries, Taco Bell has proven that going balls to the wall not only helps generate hype, but it actually shows in sales.
If you don't believe that these limited time menu items are beneficial to a restaurant such as Taco Bell, their most recent Nacho Fries rollout was the most successful launch in their history, selling more than 53 million orders in less than 2 month span.
Even Del Taco has shown a willingness to mix things up with huevos ranchero burritos, queso blanco, and even fire roasted shrimp.
Conversely, Chipotle has had slow and prodding innovation, with past attempts at chorizo and queso not exactly connecting with consumers. Their chorizo option is no more, and they had to adjust their queso recipe after facing backlash for its chalky taste.
With Chipotle trying to jump back in the saddle, this is the first time in recent memory they've announced five new items at once. You have to think at least one of them will connect. Possibly the milkshake?
It does looks like the shake has potential. New Yorker Anna-Marie Walsh tried it out at the test kitchen, describing it as having a bit of a spicy taste, adding that it was "absolutely delicious."
Believe it or not, you were able to order a quesadilla before, but it wasn't on Chipotle's official menu, and as we learned with the secret menu Quesarito, it was a bitch to for them to fire up a quesadilla with the way their kitchen was set up.
Time will tell if these items will be deemed worthy of a nationwide rollout. It certainly seems like milkshakes, quesadillas, and avocado tostadas would be a welcoming addition to their everyday menu. Until then, Chipotle fans will just have to go with their usual order.