Do you frequently order your Chipotle to-go? Do you sit down with your burrito and eat it in the store? Or are you one of those people who does shots of guacamole off the counter, slamming down dollar bill after dollar bill? Chipotle is betting that you're one of the former (and if you're the last kind... good on you!), because they're planning on expanding their business, BIG TIME. Well, kinda big time, because they're hoping to open 4,000 new, smaller takeout-only locations. And one of them could be headed to your neighborhood.
The new mini-Chipotles will lack seating areas, meaning they'll be smaller and thus require less upfront investment than the standard-format Chipotles, which apparently cost about $800,000 per location to build. This streamlined design is more conducive to areas that can't fully support a larger Chipotle store -- so the company is hoping to practically blanket the country with smaller takeout-only concepts in the near future.
And while the chain has only got plans to open 195 more locations in the coming year, there's still a lot of room for growth down the line. Maybe it's time to invest in a slightly looser belt.
Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and would like a miniature Chipotle in his apartment building, please. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.