Chipotle hasn’t had it easy this last year. The company famous for its burritos, and more recently its e. coli, has tried to buoy lagging sales and stock prices with everything from earnest promises to free tequila. One other strategy that has been the works for some time: Use hamburgers as a sort of burrito misdirection. To that end Chipotle’s first burger restaurant, Tasty Made opened it doors today, but compared with the 2000+ Mexican Grills, the company is starting with a comparatively tiny footprint. The only Tasty Made currently is in Lancaster, Ohio, population 38,780. Prior to the new burger joint, Lancaster may have been best known as the home of the Ohio Glass Museum.
But Chipotle invested seriously in the new concept, which has food developed by James Beard Award winner and Food & Wine Best New Chef Nate Appleman.
The menu is almost In ‘N’ Out simple with nothing but three versions of a burger, fries and four flavors of milkshake, including one patterned after the beloved local concoction of chocolate and peanut butter, the Buckeye.
The verdict does not seem to be in yet, although at least a couple early customers didn’t seem satisfied with their burgers and shakes.
But it’s early days over at Tasty Made. The burger wasn’t built in a day after all.