Say Goodbye To Chipotle's Southeast Asian Grill Forever
Chipotle has had a rough go of things over the last year or so. And even though they managed to claim the top spot as America’s favorite fast Mexican food spot, revenue has been down. And so with that in mind, it may not be surprising that after six years Chipotle Mexican Grill has decided to officially shut down all 15 branches of its much smaller offshoot, ShopHouse Asian Kitchen chain.
Launched in 2011, ShopHouse sought to bring Chipotle’s success in the Mexican fast casual space to Southeast Asian cuisine – “a tribute to the inspiring food cultures of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore,” as the brand writes on its website. The chain expanded to 15 locations, but even while Chipotle was riding high, ShopHouse was growing at what some considered to be a slow pace. However, as we all know, a lot has changed for Chipotle in the past two years, and though the company didn’t appear to specifically cite the struggles with its flagship brand as the reason for ShopHouse’s downfall, obviously, current events have led the brand that burritos built to rethink pretty much everything it’s up to.
On that note, Chipotle has announced plans to close the 15 ShopHouse locations on March 17, fulfilling a promise founder Steve Ellis made back in October that his company had “decided not to invest further in growing the ShopHouse brand.” Needless to say, killing off the brand should certainly help inhibit its growth. “We now have a deal in place to sell the ShopHouse leases and believe that is the right decision at this time,” seemingly always busy Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Nation’s Restaurant News. According to a company earnings call, ShopHouse simply couldn’t generate enough sales to create “an attractive unit economic model.” The silver lining for ShopHouse employees is that its parent company has promised that employees will be offered positions at Chipotle, as well as an extra week’s worth of pay to cover the transition.
Still, Chipotle hasn’t given up on other restaurant concepts entirely. Pizzeria Locale still has seven locations alive and kicking. And the company’s attempt at tackling the burger market, Tasty Made, debuted in Ohio this past October.