This Long-Awaited Chipotle Item Is Now Only Available One Way
Fans of fast casual restaurant Chipotle know that new menu items are much more rare at this chain than anywhere else. But when the restaurant does add something new to their carefully curated menu, customers love it. CEO Brian Niccol said guests have loved the latest additions of carne asada, Queso Blanco, and the Supergreens mix for salads which Chipotle has rolled out in the last year.
Now, the chain is testing a new, eagerly anticipated menu item: the quesadilla. Yes, the unicorn of the Chipotle menu is finally here! Once the most requested non-menu item, the quesadilla is becoming a permanent fixture on Chipotle's menu.
But blink and you'll miss it—the chain announced they are testing their brand new quesadillas as a digital-only product, meaning you'll only be able to order it online, and not at Chipotle's brick-and-mortar locations. The testing is taking place in Cleveland and Indianapolis.
The move makes it feel like quesadillas are still a secret menu item, but the company is confident the customers will jump on board. "It'll take some education to inform people that quesadillas aren't on the frontline, but consumers aren't fighting the idea of having to order in the app or on the web in order to get a quesadilla," said Niccol.
Chipotle's digital sales are going strong
In an economically devastating climate for so many restaurant businesses, Chipotle has been relying on its robust digital sales to survive.
Digital sales grew 80.8% and accounted for 26.3% of sales during the brand's latest quarter.
It helps that Chipotle uses free delivery to attract new customers to their digital business. Ordered directly from Chipotle's app or website, the free deliveries are actually completed by DoorDash, which leaves the restaurant with thinner margins. However, Niccol says it's worth the investment—the surge in new digital customers from free delivery offers frequently translates to repeated online orders from those same customers.
To boot, Chipotle is one of a few restaurants that doesn't engage in premium pricing. The company's CFO John Hartung noted Chipotle's prices listed on third-party delivery sites are no higher than the in-store prices. He added some restaurants are charging 20% to 35% more on third-party sites. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food and restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.