The fast casual spot went viral in January for a secret menu item. It’s now allowed everywhere.
When you hear the word “viral” associated with “Chipotle,” (CMG) – Get Free Report you may think of food poisoning. The fast casual Mexican chain was ordered to pay a $25 million fine for causing some of its customers to get sick from unclean food between 2015-2018.
But the chain is cleaning up its act — in more ways than one.
Chipotle, which was formerly the investment darling of McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report (the burger chain sold all of its shares back to Chipotle in 2006), started 2023 the way many of us did: on a health kick.
Beginning on Jan. 3, participating Chipotle locations across the U.S. and Canada have begun offering new Lifestyle Bowls. These bowls are available in 7 different options and cater to customers watching what they eat. Some of the bowls on offer are the Balanced Macro Bowl, Wholesome Bowl, Half Veggie Bowl and High Protein Bowl.
Chipotle Is Always Testing New Menu Items
Chipotle is no stranger to new ideas. The chain is always testing new items and promotions, oftentimes getting its ideas from customer feedback.
In 2022, the Mexican chain introduced several new proteins and staple items to its menu, including garlic guajillo steak, chicken al pastor, cauliflower rice, pollo asado, and plant-based chorizo.
Chicken remains Chipotle’s most popular protein, but adventurous consumers are always willing to try new things. And some of them actually end up as permanent menu fixtures. (Although others include chorizo and plant-based chorizo made a menu appearance and have not been brought back).
Chipotle’s New Trend Is Now An Official Item
Since Chipotle is so good at listening to its customers, it announced that it would place a TikTok trend firmly on its menu starting in March on the Chipotle app.
The trend, which has been making the rounds on the social media platform for weeks, is called the “quesadilla hack.” And it was actually the bane of many workers’ existence before it became a fixture.
The quesadilla hack consists of ordering a steak quesadilla with extra cheese and fajita veggies. Some claim it tastes just like a Philly cheese steak. Workers claim it’s a disaster, as many Chipotle locations actually ran out of key ingredients like steak and cheese while trying to fulfill so many orders (and the extra-stuffed quesadillas don’t fit well in the oven used to cook them).
Previously, quesadillas were difficult to customize and customers were unable to add extra meat or veggies to their orders.
“We are looking forward to adding this combination in the future,” Chipotle told Fox Television Stations.
Customers may have to wait until March to get the new viral item, but it probably won’t stop them from ordering it ahead of time. One employee went on a Reddit rant about the item recently, begging customers to refrain from ordering it until it was ready so employees wouldn’t have to risk their jobs or safety.
“We can’t put fajitas [veggies] in the quesadilla machine or excess cheese or meat, we just aren’t allowed and it isn’t worth my job,” the employee explained on Reddit. “So please don’t be like the guy who swung at me last night and had the cops in store arrest him, and just try not to be mad at us.”
It is important to remember that quesadillas can only be ordered through the Chipotle app. The chain will not take orders for them at the counter.
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This story was originally published January 16, 2023 2:54 PM.