As Arnold mentioned in the company's statement, Chipotle already backs two non-Chipotle restaurant concepts, so launching a third concept that would seemingly fit its signature model wouldn't be too surprising, especially considering the main Chipotle brand's association with food-borne illness outbreaks in recent months. As a result of those issues, the burrito chain's sales dropped by 26% last month and analysts predict the company will report a loss when it reports its first quarter results on April 26th.
Obviously, a Chipotle burger chain would face enormous competition from the likes of Shake Shack, Five Guys, Smashburger, In-N-Out and other players in often-dubbed "better burger" category. News of Chipotle's plans already hurt Shake Shack's stock on Wednesday, per the Bloomberg report.
But just think of it this way: more cheeseburgers for you.
Thrillist has reached out to Chipotle for more information.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and, as a person who enjoys burgers, is excited about this. Send news tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.