A customisable burrito chain that was founded before Chipotle is now expanding across America

As Freebirds revs up for expansion, it’s doing so with an updated design.

The 95-unit Austin-based chain debuted its new prototype last week, with a new location in Castle Hills, Texas, reports Nation’s Restaurant News.

The company called the new design “modern industrial farmhouse” in a blog post about the location. It utilises many features that have become popular at various trendy fast-casual chains, including digital menu boards, a reclaimed wood wall, and an open kitchen.

“We’ve come to realise that our culinary creations speak louder than our decor and our new design best supports our belief that great people deserve great food — and a great atmosphere to enjoy their meal in,” reads the company blog post on the new design.

The new prototype is a part of Freebird’s plan for growth, with all future restaurants incorporating the new look. Locations in Temple, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee are slated to open with the next design next year, reports Nation’s Restaurant News.

Freebirds has been serving up “Chipotle-style” burritos before Chipotle was even founded, using a similar fast-casual customisable model.

The menu includes customisable bowls, burritos, salads, nachos, and quesadillas, with fillings like steak, carnitas, chicken, and Tempeh Calabacitas.

The company was founded in 1987 in California, and today has locations in seven states in the south and western US.

In 2007, private investment company Tavistock Group purchased Freebirds. Tavistock Group owns a number of small restaurant chains, including Abe & Louie’s, Cafe del Rey, and Joe’s American Bar & Grill, as well as investments including real estate, sports institutes, and energy companies.

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