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Is Chipotle Launching a New Brand?

The chain is being linked to a new brand called Farmesa.

Chipotle may be venturing out to find more opportunities within the fast-casual food industry. While expanding the number of new locations nationally and implementing more successful Chipotlelanes is already in the works, an entirely new brand concept could also be in the mix.

Inside a new Kitchen United Mix food hall opening in Santa Monica, Calif. this month, will be a new restaurant called Farmesa, which could be a new part of the Chipotle Mexican Grill company.

Restaurant Business reports that SP Kitchens LLC filed for the trademark of Farmesa, with names such as "Farmesa Fresh Ingredient Kitchen" and "Farmesa, a Fresh Eatery." The trademark business lists Chipotle's headquarters (in Newport Beach, Calif.) as the primary address for the new brand concept.

 Customers Seem to Be Ditching Chipotle and Its High Prices

Farmesa is set to produce a menu full of "fresh California bowls" using ingredients that are real and wholesome, according to an Indeed job listing. And similar to Chipotle, the new restaurant concept focuses mainly on sourcing quality ingredients and supporting farmers by using locally grown produce. Jobs at Farmesa start with a pay of $17.50 per hour, per the job post.

While this speculation that ties Farmesa and Chipotle together is still unconfirmed, we've seen this Tex-Mex-inspired chain introduce new and unique varieties of proteins, gift hardcore fans with fun merch, and even promise to turn an obsessive trend on social media into a permanent menu item. The fast-casual spot has never been shy about taking business in a new direction, but we will have to wait and see if it makes a profit or if it ends up coming short of the company standard.

Kitchen United Mix food hall CA
Courtesy of Kitchen United

We've seen the Tex-Mex-inspired chain test ghost kitchens, as well as launch a range of both successful and unsuccessful business ideas.

Back in 2011, Chipotle started up the ShopHouse Asian Kitchen, serving up made-to-order rice bowls and saucy Asian-style noodles. But due to a massive food safety scandal and a drop in sales, all locations of the brand were closed in 2017.

Another not-so-successful business Chipotle took on was a concept called Tasty Made, which created classic "In-N-Out-styled" burgers for the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. With only two years of being open, from 2016 to 2018, Chipotle pulled the burger joint from moving forward, because many customers complained that the food was mainly mediocre.

The lasting remaining venture Chipolte holds, outside of the original business model, is Pizzeria Locale, based in Colorado. The pizza shop was inspired by the simple neighborhood pizzerias one can find in Naples and has expanded to five different locations in the Denver area.

Chipotle has not responded to comment at this time.

Jordan Summers-Marcouillier
Jordan Summers-Marcouillier was born and raised in San Jose, California and now works as a writer in New York, NY. Read more about Jordan