Chipotle might be trying to build a competitor to Five Guys and Shake Shack.
Bloomberg recently reported that Chipotle filed a trademark application for the phrase “better burger.”
At one point in time, fans would have probably rejoiced over this news. The chain has already successfully expanded into other categories with its Asian ShopHouse and Pizzeria Locale concepts.
But as the chain’s sales continue to slide following numerous E. coli outbreaks, many in the restaurant industry are sceptical of Chipotle’s odds.
“The burger business might be the restaurant industry’s toughest market to crack at this point,” writes Jonathan Maze at Nation’s Restaurant News. “It’s certainly tougher than either tacos or pizza, given the presence of so many “better burger” chains like Five Guys, Smashburger, Shake Shack and The Habit Burger Grill.
Even McDonald’s has entered the market with a customisable “Create Your Taste” menu.
Beyond how saturated the burger market has become, Chipotle also needs to focus on its core business, which has seen sales slide more than 30% in recent months.
Analysts say the sales might not recover for years.
The brand has been spending millions on free burrito promotions in order to bring back customers.
While Chipotle might eventually succeed with a burger chain, the industry thinks it should focus on nursing the burrito business back to health.
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