One day after reporting disappointing quarterly sales, Chipotle announced that it was a day away from opening the first location of its new burger concept, Tasty Made.
The new eatery will open in Lancaster, Ohio, on Thursday, Oct. 27, Chipotle said in a statement. It will serve just four items: burgers, fries, shakes, and sodas.
"We bring Chipotle’s commitment to better quality ingredients, a focused menu, fast service and customized orders to Tasty Made," Steve Ells, founder and co-CEO of Chipotle, said in a statement.
The location attempts to capture the speed of the fast-food industry, while following in the footsteps of other better-burger concepts like Shake Shack and Smashburger. Burgers will be grilled-to-order and never frozen, and made with beef raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
"Each order is sent to an advanced queuing system that uses heads-up visual cues so that the team can cook and serve the food very quickly," said Ells. "This is in stark contrast to typical fast food burger chains where frozen burger patties are usually cooked ahead of time and held until later, at which time they are assembled."
Here's what appears to be a photo of a meal at Tasty Made. The cup resembles the cups served at Chipotle restaurants.
While Chipotle has not yet revealed photos of the new location, people in Lancaster have tracked its building progress on social media:
Photos reveal a restaurant styled similar to an old-school fast-food joint, complete with a drive-thru.
"Early fast food burger restaurants generally had focused menus," Chipotle founder Steve Ells said in July. "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."
On Tuesday, Chipotle reported that it will not invest further in growing and developing its Asian restaurant chain ShopHouse. Instead, the company is doubling down on Tasty Made and its build-your-own-pizza concept Pizzeria Locale.
Chipotle is looking for new concepts to boost sales as the chain continues to deal with the consequences of an E. coli outbreak that affected restaurants in 14 states one year ago. In the third quarter, sales at stores open at least a year dropped 21.9%, the company said Tuesday.