Chipotle made the mistake of expanding beyond burritos — but it ended up being an embarrassing flop

Chipotle's burger concept, Tasty Made.

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Chipotle’s burger concept, Tasty Made.
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Tasty Made

  • Chipotle is closing the only location of Tasty Made, its “better-burger” concept.
  • The first and only Tasty Made location opened less than two years ago in Lancaster, Ohio.
  • This is the second time Chipotle has suddenly shuttered locations of a non-burrito-centric concept.

Chipotle is closing the only location of its “better-burger” concept after less than two years in operation.

On Wednesday, Chipotle closed its sole Tasty Made restaurant in Lancaster, Ohio, The Lancaster Eagle Gazette reported. The burrito chain opened the first Tasty Made in October 2016, in an attempt to tap into the “better-burger” category.

Tasty Made.

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Tasty Made.
source
Tasty Made

“While we liked the concept and the delicious food at Tasty Made, the economics were not what we wanted them to be in Lancaster, Ohio, so we have decided to close that restaurant,” Chipotle representative Chris Arnold said in an email to Business Insider.

Chipotle did not specify whether the company would consider opening Tasty Made locations in other areas.

Reviews of Tasty Made have been mixed.

“We drove an hour to see what the hype was all about and quite honestly a Wendy’s cheeseburger would have been better than a Tasty Made burger,” reads a two-star Yelp review. “Chipotle is not prepared for the burger industry.”

Another negative review reads: “It honestly just filled the empty void and was forgettable.”

This isn’t the first time that Chipotle has suddenly shuttered locations of one of its brands.

In March 2017, the company closed all 15 locations of its Southeast Asian chain, ShopHouse Kitchen.

Now, the only non-burrito chain owned by Chipotle is Pizzeria Locale. The Denver, Colorado-based pizza chain initially kept its Chipotle connection a secret and has worked to differentiate itself from the burrito brand.

Chipotle has struggled since an E. coli crisis two years ago drove customers away from the chain. Shares of the company have fallen more than 60% since peaking in August 2015.

However, the company may be turning over a new leaf. On Monday, March 5, Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol will take over as Chipotle’s top executive, taking the reigns from founder Steve Ells.