Demand for Chipotle burritos may have plummeted since the chain’s infamous food poisoning incidents, but oddly enough, demand for burritos has recently skyrocketed at the smaller Chipotle Mexican Grill-owned chain ShopHouse Kitchen – a bizarre twist being that ShopHouse Kitchen specializes in Southeast Asian cuisine and until recently, as one would expect at an Asian restaurant, didn’t even have burritos on its menu.
According to Chipotle communications director Chris Arnold, ShopHouse Kitchen began testing these Asian burritos (or “wraps” as they’re being called) not because some marketing genius came up with the idea in a boardroom, but because of customer demand. “They'd bring in tortillas (some from nearby Chipotles) and ask if we could wrap the ShopHouse ingredients burrito-style,” he told Eater. “Our ShopHouse team taste-tested that hack and really liked it, so they decided to give it a try.” It just goes to prove my theory: Always listen to someone who carries around extra tortillas.
Nation’s Restaurant News reports that ShopHouse Kitchen is currently testing these wraps (that, worth noting, use the same ingredients for the wrap as a Chipotle tortilla) in four of its 15 locations: One each in Washington, DC and Los Angeles and two in Chicago. Apparently, these wraps are already generating some buzz. “A lot of people, returning customers, come in and they already know what they want, and they don't even look at the menu,” a ShopHouse employee told Eater.
Maybe this could be the way Chipotle saves its burrito business? Step one: Start having ShopHouse Kitchen sell Asian burritos. Step two: Once these become popular, add Mexican-style burritos to the ShopHouse Kitchen menu. Step three: Start turning all the Chipotle’s into ShopHouse Kitchens. Step four: What Chipotle?! You mean that place that got people sick? Oh that’s gone now!