Chipotle is turning to bacon-loaded burrito bowls for some good news. Just as the burrito chain faces yet another major food-borne illness outbreak, some of its locations are now preparing to unleash a series of new menu items and deals that, perhaps ironically, are part of its long, ongoing comeback campaign from a food safety crisis in 2015.
On Thursday, Chipotle announced it is testing two new menu items and promotions in select cities across the country as it continues to gradually change up its notoriously limited menu in hopes of improving sales. The big new food Chipotle is betting on? Bacon. That's right, the ever-ubiquitous fast food staple is headed for your burrito bowls (shown below), starting with an eight-restaurant test in Orange County, California this September, and if it's successful there, a full market test and potential national rollout. Along with trying out bacon, the company will expand its first-ever "build your own" nachos test run to all of its locations in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul in October, according to a press release.
Execs at the chain all but conceded bacon is low-hanging fruit.
"Consumers have always said 'everything tastes better with bacon' and that is exactly what we confirmed in our New York test kitchen," Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer at Chipotle, said in a press release. "We found consumers added bacon to their traditional bowls, burritos, tacos and nachos while also enjoying new items such as the BLT quesadilla with bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese grilled to perfection." (Quesadillas, however, are exclusive to the test kitchen location.)