If Chipotle is trying to signal to Wall Street that it is stripping away distractions, it is also in danger of saying it can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
— Kristen Hawley
Chipotle’s incoming CEO Brian Niccol hasn’t officially started his new job yet, but already the company is making changes to its business. The chain has decided to shutter its sole burger restaurant, Tasty Made, in Ohio.
While Chipotle remained tight-lipped about its plans for the burger chain, the closure comes just months after very publicly tapping celebrity chef Richard Blais to revamp its menu, a move intended to bring both publicity and better recipes. In a story in January, Food & Wine’s David Landsel had compared — favorably and not so — Tasty Made’s food to West Coast favorite In-n-Out, which it more closely resembled than a McDonald’s or Burger King.
A spokesperson for the company told Restaurant Business that the location’s economics weren’t working for the business, hence the closure.
Tasty Made, which aimed to capture a not-quite-fast-food segment of the marketplace, faced tough competition, both from fast food restaurants that worked to include better-quality ingredients and others in its category, like Shake Shack, which has been expanding across the country with continued ambitious expansion plans in 2018.