The fast food industry has long speculated that Chipotle will eventually start serving breakfast items.
The possibility seemed imminent two years ago, when the chain started serving coffee at locations that were already testing egg-based breakfast burritos.
But the results of the test were unimpressive and the company later decided not to do a national rollout of its breakfast offerings.
Two years later, there are still no plans to introduce a breakfast menu, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Business Insider on Friday.
The chain limited its breakfast test to a couple airport locations, where Chipotle was contractually obligated to be open during breakfast hours.
“Among the things we have seen thus far, is that customers in those locations have tended to order their normal Chipotle order, regardless of time, so we have discontinued those tests,” Chipotle spokeswoman Danielle Winslow told Business Insider in a previous interview.
The tests were limited to the company’s locations at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Dulles International Airport.
At Dulles, the breakfast options could be served in tacos, a burrito, or a bowl — like everything else on Chipotle’s menu.
For $US6.50, fillings included scrambled eggs, “crispy herbed potatoes,” black or pinto beans, meat, salsa and cheese or sour cream. Meat options included chorizo, carnitas and barbacoa. There was also a vegetarian option with guacamole and black beans.
Here’s the Dulles menu board, which was posted by a Yelp user:
Yelp reviews of the breakfast offerings were largely positive.
“Bring back the Chipotle breakfast and I will intentionally fly through Dulles to get just about anywhere,” one user wrote. “Chipotle breakfast was absolutely divine while it lasted.”
Another wrote: “BEST. BREAKFAST. BURRITO. EVER. Why can’t other Chipotles serve breakfast?! MUST TRY! If you love their regular meals you’ll love their breakfast…I can’t wait until my next flight out of Dulles!”
Consumer research also suggests that now is a good time for restaurants to expanding their morning menus.
U.S. restaurant traffic during the breakfast hours increased 3% in 2013 compared to the prior year, according to a study by The NPD Group. Meanwhile, traffic declined by 1% during the lunch and dinner hours.
But Chipotle’s decision not to expand into breakfast right now isn’t very surprising, considering its history.
After more than 20 years in business, the chain has only just added its first new menu item — the tofu-based Sofritas.
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