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Chipotle’s Innovative Dining Experience

BY MICHAEL GROTHAUS

Farmesa, located at Santa Monica’s Kitchen United Mix food hall, will offer fast casual dining with food made on-premises.

Chipotle’s has announced it’s opening a new spinoff restaurant concept, called Farmesa. Gone are the tortillas, and instead all food will be served in a bowl. Each bowl will feature one protein served with grains or greens, as well as two sides, one of five sauces, and a topping. Among the main bowls are Classic Santa Maria-Style Grilled Tri-Tip Steak and Everything Spice-Crusted Ora King Salmon. Sides include Sprouted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Chips.

But Farmesa isn’t a new restaurant chain. It’s a concept store that aims to capitalize on those looking to grab a bite with foods made fresh and with quality, natural ingredients. Each Farmesa bowl will range in price from $11.95 to $16.95.
The concept store will be located in the Kitchen United Mix food hall at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California, where people will be able to place an order at online kiosks. Local DoorDash and UberEats users can also order from Farmesa via the apps.

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said that one of the company’s strategic objectives “is to create or invest in emerging culinary spaces and restaurant concepts that fit within Chipotle’s food with integrity mission that are made fresh daily.”

This isn’t the first time Chipotle has experimented with its store offerings. In 2020, it opened its first digital store and last October, the company’s autonomous kitchen robot, Chippy, started work in a California store.
As for the company’s upcoming strategy, Chipotle plans to open between 255 and 285 new locations this year, reports CNBC. Last week, the company reported fourth-quarter results, which saw weaker-than-expected revenue and earnings. “As we got around the holidays, we just didn’t see that pop, that momentum, that we normally see . . . frankly, we started the quarter soft, and we ended the quarter soft,” Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung said at the time.

Could Farmesa be what Chipotle needs to get that pop back? That’s unlikely, at least in the short term. Announcing the Farmesa concept store, Niccol said, “we’re excited to test and learn on before we determine a broader rollout strategy.”

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