Chipotle Finally Makes Preservative-Free Tortillas

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By Cooking Panda

Chipotle is always working to better their ingredients and offer healthy, sustainable choices for the burrito bowls, tacos and salads. It only makes sense that now they’ll be adding preservative-free tortillas to the menu.

In a press release, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it’s the only national restaurant chain that can actually say it doesn’t use any added flavors, colors or preservatives in any of its ingredients. That’s quite the accomplishment! The rule doesn’t apply to soft drinks because they aren’t made in-house, but it does apply to all of the food items available on the line.

The journey toward making the tortillas, tacos and chips preservative- and additive-free began two years ago, and now there are only two to five ingredients listed for what’s used to make these items. The flour tortillas reportedly use only flour, water, canola oil, salt and yeast, while the corn tortilla chips use only corn masa flour and water. Amazing!

“We have always used high quality ingredients and prepared them using classic cooking techniques,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle’s Founder. “We never resorted to using added colors or flavors like many other fast food companies do simply because these industrial additives often interfere with the taste of the food. However, commercially available tortillas, whether they are for us or someone else, use dough conditioners and preservatives. I’ve been on a quest for a better tasting tortilla for years, and we finally achieved a tortilla made the way you would make them at home, and they are simply delicious.”

The change has been made in all Chipotle locations in the U.S., so that you can be rest assured that no matter which Chipotle you stop at, you’re getting the real deal. Chipotle maintains that the approach it takes with making sure its food is natural and free of additives and artificial ingredients is what makes it taste so good.

 “Rather than switching from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives to ‘natural’ alternatives of the same additives, fast food companies should be asking why their food needs added colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives in the first place,” says Ells.

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill / Photo Credit: Chipotle/Instagram

Tags: Chipotle, Chipotle Ingredients, natural food, No Additives, Preservative-Free
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Chipotle Is Done Giving Everyone Free Burritos

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By Cooking Panda

The New Year is bringing new change to everyone, and Chipotle is included. We can probably all agree that 2016 was a rough year at best, but it’s been particularly rough on Chipotle.

According to Eater, the burrito chain is still working hard to recover from the food safety disaster that continues to linger over its name from a little over a year ago. Then there was an avocado shortage, customer service problems … the list goes on. Poor Chipotle!

As a result, and in an effort to recover, Chipotle is going to be bringing about some changes in 2017. The first, and probably the most notable, will be the elimination of the free burrito promotion — Chiptopia. Stock for the company is still struggling, and sadly the time for expensive promotions has ended. New changes will include an increase in advertising efforts, an energized push toward online and mobile ordering, a possible new dessert item and price increases.

That’s a long list of changes, and some of those changes might make you cringe (price increase), while others might get you excited (a new Chipotle dessert?). However you’re feeling, understand that this company has to bring itself back to glory, especially in the eyes of the stock market.

The changes are coming after a reported plummet of same-store sales by 22%, and the stock dropping almost 25%, according to Yahoo Finance. The updated food safety protocols aren’t likely to be enough, but maybe some of the aforementioned efforts will be.

“The most important area of focus must be rebuilding consumer confidence and interest in the brand,” managing director of Conlumino, a retail research agency, said of Chipotle. “That requires a strong marketing effort and initiatives like menu innovation.”

With new efforts taking place in the New Year, we have to remember that these things take time, and hopefully Chipotle remembers that as well. New advertisements and menu items should certainly help in gaining traction, though. Finally, the last big push will involve an improvement in customer service, which has been a recurring complaint over the last year. More training will be involved, but hopefully Chipotle comes through!

Sources: Eater, Yahoo Finance / Photo Credit: Chipotle/Instagram

Tags: Burritos, Chipotle, Chiptopia, new year, Restaurant Changes
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People Are Suing Chipotle Because Of Their Burrito Calories (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

You might not expect a burrito to be a low-calorie food, much less one from Chipotle that comes out weighing roughly the same as a newborn baby if you play your cards right. But three angry Californians say that they were so shocked when they realized that the Mexican-American chain’s vaguely advertised chorizo burrito probably had a lot more than the listed 300 calories that they have banded together to file a class-action lawsuit against the burrito chain.

According to the suit, one of the plaintiffs walked into Chipotle and specifically picked out the chorizo burrito after seeing it listed as having only 300 calories, notes My News LA. But it was only after eating the whole entire thing that the complainant “felt excessively full and realized that the burrito couldn’t have been just 300 calories.”

Before you judge these people too harshly, take a look at what they had to work with:

“Consumers are lulled into a false belief that the items they are eating are healthier than they really are,” the suit says.

Chipotle’s calorie calculator lists just the chorizo as having 300 calories, the same as their flour tortillas — so you start with 600 calories before adding fixings, like the white rice, black beans and tomato salsa advertised in the picture, which will run you up about 955 calories. And let’s be real, you’re probably getting fajita veggies, sour cream, cheese, guac and corn salsa too. Funny enough, chorizo is actually far and away the most calorie-laden protein listed.

Even Chipotle reps themselves have admitted that the chain struggles to comply with the Affordable Care Act that requires big chains to list calories for all their dishes, notes TIME. Part of that is because there are some 60,000 different ways to put an order together.

“The degree to which people may misestimate calories is really a product of a menu labeling law that doesn’t work so well for a restaurant like ours,” said Chipotle Communications Director Chris Arnold, according to TIME. “Putting calorie counts on things is super easy when it’s a packaged product and it’s made exactly the same every time or it’s a restaurant where you order a number one and always get exactly the same thing.”

To be honest though, if E. coli couldn’t keep you away from the famed burritos, we have a feeling that a slightly confusing list of calories won’t either.

Sources: My News LA, TIME, Chipotle Calorie Calculator / Photo Credit: Chipotle/Instagram

Tags: burrito calories, Chipotle, Chipotle calories, Chipotle lawsuit, Food News
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Chipotle Is Giving Away $20 Million In Free Food, But There’s A Catch

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By Cooking Panda

Chipotle is rewarding some of its most die-hard fans with free catering for up to 20 people. That’s a value of $240, and about 85,000 people are set to receive this award.

According to CNBC, Chipotle is choosing winners based on participation in its Chiptopia program that took place over the summer. Those who were part of the reward program were classified into three categories based on how many times they visited the restaurant each of the three summer months. Statuses were mild, medium and hot, and those who had a “hot” status (by eating at least 11 Chipotle entrees per month) have won the prize. This catering reward is equal to about $20.4 million.

The loyalty program has attracted 3.6 million participants, and has boosted sales greatly, so how better to reward fans for staying true?

On another note, Chipotle has also chosen to start offering a new ingredient for customers: chorizo. If you aren’t familiar, chorizo is a sausage blend of chicken and pork, peppered with Mexican spices. Popsugar reports that its taste is a bit salty, although not too overly spicy. For many who usually opt for double meat, you could get chorizo instead and a little will go a much farther way.

The new protein is expected to be available in stores nationwide this fall, according to Eater. Chipotle is hoping that this, in addition to loyalty programs and awesome awards will serve to bring back the audience that has been lost since the E.coli breakout in 2015.

If you’re one of the lucky winners of free Chipotle catering, make sure and ask for chorizo at your big event. That way, you and your friends and family can taste-test the new ingredient for free!

Popsugar’s report of taste implies that you should eat the chorizo next to lettuce and tomato for best results, so that the light veggies can offset the saltiness of the meat. However you choose to enjoy it, do so knowing that Chipotle is on the mend!

Sources: CNBC, Popsugar, Eater / Photo credit: Chipotle via Eater

Tags: Chipotle, Chiptopia, Chorizo
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Chipotle Really Wants You To Know They’re All About Food Safety Right Now

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By Cooking Panda

That’s right; Chipotle is even launching an ad campaign to make sure we all know about their new food-safety advancements.

And who can blame them? It’s been almost a year since the E. coli breakouts that severely damaged the restaurant’s reputation. The Wall Street Journal reports that stock prices still haven’t fully recovered from the blow.

New safety measures will include testing every ingredient for pathogens and keeping track via barcode of every stop made along the way, from farm to restaurant. Chipotle will employ more thorough cleaning practices, such as washing lettuce and bell peppers before and after chopping, blanching vegetables and high-pressure cleaning treatments for Chorizo so that taste is not compromised.

As an added bonus, all restaurant managers are to be tested and certified in federally recognized food safety classes, and will be subject to random food safety audits to make sure they’re on top of their game.

According to ABC News, Chipotle promises eight “key food safety advancements” altogether. The tracking of food from point A to point B, however, appears to come from suggestions and guidance from the CDC.  In its most recent report on Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak, the CDC said that this move “can help stop outbreaks and lessen their impact by keeping detailed records to allow faster tracing of individual shipments of foods from source to destination and to help investigators identify what made people sick.”

All of these new advancements and measurements are expected to cut down, or completely stop, the delivery of dangerous foods and bacteria to Chipotle stores. Watch the video below to see Chipotle’s Twitter update concerning the new food safety agenda.

As founder Steve Ells explains in the video, Chipotle was already more careful than most food chains when it came to the quality of their ingredients. Of the all the chains to have this sort of problem, they’d be the last I would have expected. However, I do feel reassured that they are doing all they can. Hopefully, everyone else will feel the same way!

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, ABC News / Photo credit: Chipotle Twitter

Tags: Chipotle, food safety
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Chipotle Slapped With Yet Another Lawsuit

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By Cooking Panda

Oh, Chipotle. You are so loved and yet always in trouble with the law. How is that possible?

Well, this time it isn’t about the integrity of the food, but rather the behavior of management in one location in California. My News LA reports that Sheqweshu Clark, who worked at a Chipotle in El Segundo, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Chipotle Mexican Grill, accusing them of racial discrimination.

Yikes!

Clark says that all of the “good” shifts during the day are always given to the Hispanic workers, and that the black workers are treated unfairly, made to work the night and evening shifts that nobody wants. When she took this matter to the Latino manager, the manager allegedly said, “Black girls always have an attitude.”

She then went to the new Latina district manager to file her complaint, who allegedly denied there was a problem but said that she’d take over the scheduling. Within the same month, in January, Clark alleges that she was fired “without any explanation.”

She feels that she was fired as retaliation for speaking up, and plans to seek “unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.”

When asked about the lawsuit, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Eater, “We only just learned of this suit and will evaluate its merits and determine a course of action.” He ended his statement with: “Generally speaking, however, a lawsuit is nothing more than a series of allegations and does not constitute proof of any wrongdoing on our part.”

Looks like Chipotle has more work on their hands after settling all of those food lawsuits. Chipotle has another headache as nearly 10,000 workers are suing over unpaid wages. This racial discrimination lawsuit could happen to anyone, and it’s good that the chain is addressing it, but not paying your employees? That’s no bueno.

We love you Chipotle, but seriously, get it together! I want to enjoy my burritos guilt-free, knowing that I’m supporting a great company.

Sources: Eater, My News LA / Photo credit: Chipotle/Instagram

Tags: Chipotle, Lawsuits
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And Just Like That, Chipotle Settles All The E. Coli Sickness Claims Out Of Court

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By Cooking Panda

As we all know, Chipotle has been under deep food-safety scrutiny after some 500 people grew sick from eating there.  There have even been stores that have had to close due to the illnesses.

Many people grew afraid to eat at Chipotle because they worried they’d get sick. According to USA Today, the first outbreak sickened 50 people in 11 states, forcing the chain to shut down several of its restaurants. A second outbreak hit in December and affected five people in three states, and one location was even linked to a norovirus outbreak in the Boston region.

Of course, Chipotle responded as it should have: by revamping food safety rules and guidelines to see that this type of thing didn’t happen again. I even remember a short period of time when it closed all stores in order to do an overhaul and start fresh. However, the lawsuits hadn’t disappeared.

The Centers for Disease Control has ended its investigation, as Chipotle appears to have fixed the problems that led to these outbreaks. Now Chipotle is doing its part to make things right for those who got sick.

Fortune reports that Chipotle has worked with Bill Marler, a lawyer for Marler Clark, who specializes in food-safety cases, to settle 100 cases brought to them by sick customers. Details of the settlements have not been disclosed, but Marler said “The way that Chipotle has been handling the legitimate claims has been textbook appropriate,” and that “they’ve taken responsibility.”

As beloved by the public as Chipotle is, we knew they’d come through. Sure, it was a terrible incident, but I remember most people refusing to give up still. Chipotle fans are truly loyal.

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold, when asked about the claims, said that the restaurant “does right by our customers and simply wanted to make things right for people who were affected by any of those incidents.” Kudos to you, Chipotle, for owning up to your mistakes and making things right. I think I’ll go have a burrito.

Sources: USA Today, Fortune / Photo credit: Chipotle/Twitter

Tags: Chipotle
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Students At Virginia Tech Can Now Have Their Chipotle Burritos Delivered By Drone

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By Cooking Panda

Alright, we’ll give them this one: Out of all of their desperate marketing campaigns of late, this one is probably Chipotle’s best.

Per Bloomberg, Chipotle will begin an experimental service at the Blacksburg, Virginia university — Virginia Tech — this month in collaboration with Project Wing, a unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc.

What is it, you ask? Oh, just the delivery of Chipotle burritos — via drone — to students on the Virginia Tech campus.

The Federal Aviation Administration has given the venture the go-ahead, making this the most extensive drone test yet in the United States.

Companies like Amazon, Wal-Mart and more have all expressed interest in drone-deliveries of products, so if the test goes well, this may become a more routine delivery system.

“It’s the first time that we’re actually out there delivering stuff to people who want that stuff,” Dave Vos, who heads Project Wing, said to Bloomberg.

Essentially, Project Wing will use self-guided hybrids that are able to hover like helicopters and fly just like planes — these hybrids will then make deliveries from a Chipotle food truck and assess the accuracy of the navigational systems, and customer response.

Using a winch, the hybrids will hover overhead and lower the food to waiting customers.

In addition to customer response, the experiment will be testing how well the airborne packaging  manages to hold up — will food still be warm and in tact? 

Just in case things don’t go to plan, human pilots will be standing by to take control of the burrito-carrying hybrids if necessary. Additionally, drones are not actually allowed to fly over people (it’s a safety hazard), so participants in the trial will be shielded as an extra precaution.

“It sounds simple, but it’s not,” Vos said to Bloomberg. “There are a lot of things to work out from a safety point of view and a policy point of view.”

Luckily, there are plenty of volunteers lining up to help test out the drone-delivery service. Virginia Tech employees, students, and other recruits are all slated to help out in the trial run, Mark Blanks, the director of the partnership, told Bloomberg.

“This is the most complex delivery flight operation that I am aware of that’s occurred on U.S. soil,” Blanks said.

Sources: Bloomberg / Photo credit: Favim

Tags: burrito, Chipotle, delivery service, Drone, hybrid, virginia tech
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Students Can Now Get Free Fountain Drinks At Chipotle — But Is It Even Worth It?

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By Cooking Panda

In a bid to make the whole going-back-to-school shebang a little more bearable (and real talk: in a desperate bid to woo back some of its lost customers), Chipotle is offering students a deal, and giving away free drinks with the purchase of an in-store entree.

Students can bring their ID’s up to the counter after they’ve ordered a burrito, bowl, taco, or salad, and receive a free chipotle fountain drink or iced tea all September long, per Brand Eating.

Obviously, Chipotle has been struggling these days; after a series of health crises that stripped the company of its reputation last year, the brand was forced to upgrade its food safety practices. Unfortunately, the fast-casual restaurant’s best efforts haven’t been enough to win back the allegiance of its former customers.

In response, Chipotle has been pumping out various promotions — meanwhile, however, 10,000 of its current and former employees are filing a class action lawsuit for its alleged unethical work requirements.

We know that Chipotle is supposed to be serving Food With Integrity — it is the chain’s official slogan, after all — but after everything that’s happened, we’re wondering if a free drink is even worth it.

Sources: Brand Eating / Image credit: Chipotle via Brand EatingTags: Chipotle, drinks, fountain drinks, promotion, students
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Chipotle Scrambles To Woo Back Customers, Even As It Gets Sued By 10,000 Employees

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By Cooking Panda

“I’m just a struggling burrito chain, standing in front of my fleeing customers, asking them to love me.”

Chipotle is so Julia Roberts in Notting Hill right now, y’all.

Actually, if we’re doing romantic movie comparisons (we are), Chipotle is more like the Titanic. It’s not Jack, if you’re wondering, or Rose — it’s the sinking ship.

On August 29, CNN reported that nearly 10,000 workers are suing Chipotle for allegedly cheating them on their pay, with current and former Chipotle employees claiming that the company forced them to work “off the clock hours” without compensation.

For anybody wondering, the technical term for that is wage theft — not cool, Chipotle.

“Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave,” reads the class action lawsuit known as Turner v. Chipotle, per CNN.

While Chipotle denies these claims, saying the case has no merit, this lawsuit is by far the largest class action case to date leveled against the company for wage theft. As of August 26, a staggering 9,961 current and former workers have sent in consent forms to join the lawsuit.

“Chipotle has argued this is a few rogue managers who aren’t following policy. Our view, especially given the number of people opting in, is that it’s a systematic problem at Chipotle,” lawyer Kent Williams of Williams Law Firm, who is representing the employees in Turner v. Chipotle, told CNN.

And that’s not all. Apparently, the company is so desperate to regain some semblance of control and rebuild its reputation (which plummeted after a series of public health crises) that it’s now focusing on wooing customers’ children.

Eater reports that according to an August 30 press release, children are now eligible to eat free at Chipotle every Sunday if they order with an adult who purchases a regular-priced entree; additionally, Chipotle is throwing in limited-edition activity sheets to accompany each of these free meals.

According to Eater, Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold notes that the company’s demographic “has been widening for some time,” adding that the chain has “always skewed young, but that [its consumer base has] been broadening as long-time customers get older and others have children that they bring to our restaurants.”

So what do you think? Is Chipotle’s latest bid to regain your trust (and money) worth it? Or are you on the side of the furious employees?

Sources: Eater, CNN / Photo credit: Laura Murray/Thrillist

Tags: burrito, Chipotle, free food, Lawsuit
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Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa

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By Cooking Panda

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You Can Now Get Your Shophouse Meal Wrapped Just Like A Chipotle Burrito

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By Cooking Panda

Did you know that Chipotle has an Asian side project called ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen?

The separate chain, which typically offers menu items such as rice bowls, salads, and noodles is currently testing some new food creations for its customers to enjoy… and they resemble Chipotle’s Tex-Mex style of cuisine a whole lot.

Per Nation’s Restaurant News, Chris Arnold, the communications director for ShopHouse parent Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., confirmed that ShopHouse will be testing wraps at four units, including its original location in Washington, D.C., because guests were bringing in tortillas from Chipotle and asking employees to wrap their ShopHouse orders up like a burrito.

In an email to Eater, Arnold wrote: “They’d bring in tortillas (some from nearby Chipotles) and ask if we could wrap the ShopHouse ingredients burrito-style. Our ShopHouse team taste-tested that hack and really liked it, so they decided to give it a try.”

Of course, the chain has opted to call the new menu item a “wrap” instead of a burrito, likely in order to maintain some semblance of distance between its Asian cuisine and Chipotle’s Tex-Mex flare.

According to Eater, the restaurants have been testing the wraps for around three weeks now, to positive feedback. 

Says one employee to Eater: “A lot of people, returning customers, come in and they already know what they want, and they don’t even look at the menu.”

Sales are continuing to increase as more and more diners become aware of the wrap’s existence.

Sources: EaterNation’s Restaurant News / Photo credit: Eric Wolfinger

Tags: asian, burrito, Chipotle, shophouse, Tex Mex, wrap
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Chipotle Is Now Giving Away Free Booze To Lure Back Customers

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By Cooking Panda

In a bid to woo its customers back after a string of foodborne-illness outbreaks in 2015, Chipotle has decided a new tactic is in order: getting its patrons drunk.

The fast-casual chain is now offering discounted or free alcoholic beverages as part of a new “Happy Four Hours” promotion, reports CNBC. The promo includes 2-for-1 and half-price deals on alcoholic drinks from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. through September.

Did you even know that Chipotle served alcoholic beverages, like margaritas and beer? No? Well, that’s probably because it sort of doesn’t. The deals are only valid at around 300 of Chipotle’s booze-serving locations in Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Chicago, according to the company’s happy hour website.

“We know that [limited-service] restaurants do well at breakfast and lunch, but dinner tends to be more of a place for full-service restaurants to succeed,” Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, told CNBC. “With the younger generation, who is looking for affordable beverages, limited-service can be that place.”

“If this promotion proves to be a success, we see the potential for it to be offered in other parts of the U.S. and perhaps throughout more of the year,” added Mark Kalinowksi, an analyst for Nomura.

Admittedly, half-price or buy-one-get-one margaritas sounds like a blissful pairing with Chipotle’s standard fare — but will it be enough to restore the embattled fast-casual burrito chain to its former glory?

“Unfortunately, I think only time is going to help them with the sales hole,” Tristano concluded. “I think consumers are very forgiving, but it’s going to take more time.”

Sources: Chipotle, CNBC / Photo credit: Miosotis Jade/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: Booze, Chipotle, happy hour, promotion
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Burger King Tries Its Hand At Tex-Mex With Its New Whopper-Burrito Hybrid

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By Cooking Panda

First it began serving up hot dogs all over the United States; then it had the nerve to introduce Mac N’ Cheetos to the fast-food scene. If you’ve been keeping up with Burger King’s new menu, you’ve probably come to the well-founded conclusion that the fast-food mega-chain has lost its mind.

Not so fast, mindful eaters! There’s another offender to add to the list. While it’s perfectly normal (and even exciting) for food chains to innovate and try to cater to a more demanding public, somebody has to draw the line. Who, for example, decided to let Burger King dip its ever-expanding toe into Tex-Mex, and roll out a new cheeseburger-burrito chimera nationwide on August 15?

The Whopperito is coming, and it’s coming fast, folks. Try not to panic.

For what it’s worth, Burger King’s decision to adapt a kind of fare traditionally linked to Chipotle is actually a smart marketing move, considering the burrito chain has been reeling from a string of foodborne illness outbreaks. Chipotle’s previously loyal customers may transition their allegiance over to Burger King, if the fast-food chain manages to roll out a satisfying enough item.

“It’s certainly one of the first times that we’ve tapped into the Tex-Mex category,” Alex Macedo, North American president at Burger King, said in an interview, per Bloomberg. “It’s one of the fastest-growing categories — consumers like the freshness of it. They like the mix of flavors.”

The Whopperito isn’t as revolutionary an item as you may think; Burger King has instead basically chosen to deconstruct its Whopper, taking its main ingredients — beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles — and wrapping them in a tortilla, rather than its standard sesame-seed bun. The components will be bound together by a queso sauce, rather than the mayo, ketchup or mustard you might typically enjoy on a burger.

For now, the Whopperito is being promoted as a limited time offer. If it proves to be popular among fans, it could earn a permanent place on the Burger King menu. If not, you can still snag one in the next three to four months for $2.99.

Source: Bloomberg / Photo credit: Burger King via Bloomberg

Tags: Burger King, burrito, Chipotle, Tex Mex, Whopperito
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Chipotle To Open A New Burger Joint This Autumn — Will You Try It?

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By Cooking Panda

Dear Chipotle — we get it (you’re sorry) and we love you, but you are turning into the John Cusack of fast-casual restaurants and you have got to turn it down.

In a bid to win back the allegiance of its wary customers — nobody wants to dine at an establishment that continuously gets flagged for food safety crises — Chipotle has officially confirmed that it is launching a new burger restaurant called Tasty Made in Lancaster, Ohio, this autumn.

The new concept will feature a limited menu specializing in burgers, milkshakes, and fries which will be served in a fast-food format.

“Tasty Made will use Responsibly Raised brand beef (from animals that are raised in more humane ways and without the use of antibiotics or added hormones), shakes made with real ingredients including milk, cream, sugar, eggs and other natural ingredients, and fresh-made buns that are free of preservatives, dough conditioners and other artificial ingredients,” reads the release, per Eater.

“Early fast food burger restaurants generally had focused menus,” Chipotle founder Steve Ells said in the release. “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.”

Chipotle’s stock price has been on the decline for almost a year thanks to its many food scares, inviting skepticism over its whole “food with integrity” shtick. However, instead of focusing its efforts on revitalizing its core business, the burrito chain continues to diversify. Tasty Made is just the latest effort, joining ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen and Pizzeria Locale as another non-Chipotle brand.

Will you try the new Tasty Made burger?

Source: Eater / Photo credits: Tasty Made via Eater, Nicole Iizuka/Popsugar Photography

Tags: burger, Chipotle, e-coli, tasty made
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Once Again, Food Poisoning Allegations Have Been Leveled Against Chipotle

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By Cooking Panda

Here we go again…

You’d think that after all that bad press Chipotle received last year re: its series of unfortunate run-ins with E. coli and norovirus (which predictably resulted in a major sales decline, and the company’s lowest stock point in years) the restaurant chain would try its damnedest to win back its customers’ allegiance.

It’s not that the chain hasn’t put forth some effort: It launched a new rewards program, and now plans to offer chorizo in the autumn; it’s just that it’s hard to care about those details when reports have surfaced once again — this time via Twitter — of at least two more food poisoning incidents occurring at one of the chain’s Manhattan locations.

Early on July 7th, author Eric Van Lustbader — known for continuing the Bourne series after Robert Ludlum — tweeted that his editor had fallen ill after dining at a Manhattan Chipotle.

This Chipotle thing is still ongoing. My editor ended up in urgent care after being deathly ill all night from eating at Chipotle’s.

— Eric Van Lustbader (@EVanLustbader) July 7, 2016

Van Lustbader’s follow-up tweet said that his editor spent seven hours in the ER, with doctors surmising that her illness stemmed from unsanitary food handling.

Clearly, Chipotle is more susceptible than ever to these kinds of allegations, because Business Insider reports that the burrito chain’s stock dropped up to 3.5% the morning of July 7.

Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold told Business Insider:  “We are aware of the post made on Twitter, however there have been no reports of illnesses at any of our New York restaurants.

“Moreover, we have excellent health department scores throughout the city, and we continue to have the highest standards of food safety in our restaurants.”

Because Van Lustbader spread the news on Twitter, he has become the internet’s newest target; users have begun accusing him of intentionally trying to devalue Chipotle’s stock; Van Lustbader denies these claims.

Additionally, one other person (so far) has come forward, saying they were sick for a full weekend after eating at the chain’s 56th street location in Manhattan.

Sources: Business Insider, Eric Van Lustbader/Twitter (2) / Photo credit: Coloradan Magazine

Tags: Chipotle, e-coli, food poisoning
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