Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) filed a trademark request earlier in March for “Better Burger,” implying that the company is looking to pursue a burger restaurant chain. The company already operates other chains, such as Pizzeria Locale and an Asian food chain concept called ShopHouse.
Chris Arnold, Chipotle spokesperson, noted that this burger chain is a “growth seed idea” and that “the Chipotle model could be applied to a wide variety of foods.”
So far Chipotle has opened 13 locations of its ShopHouse chain in the Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago areas. As for Pizzeria Locale, Chipotle owns a couple locations each in Denver and Cincinnati, and three in the Kansas City area.
Chipotle has grown substantially over the past five years, and it expects to open between 220 and 235 additional restaurants in 2016, including a small number of Chipotle restaurants outside the United States and ShopHouse and Pizzeria Locale restaurants within the United States.
In the company’s most recent quarterly filing, Chipotle detailed its vision as follows:
Our vision is to change the way people think about and eat fast food. We do this by avoiding a formulaic approach when creating our restaurant experience, looking to fine-dining restaurants for inspiration. We use high-quality raw ingredients, classic cooking methods and a distinctive interior design and have friendly people to take care of each customer—features that are more frequently found in the world of fine dining. Our approach is also guided by our belief in an idea we call “Food With Integrity.” Our objective is to find the highest quality ingredients we can—ingredients that are grown or raised with respect for the environment, animals and people who grow or raise the food.
Shares of Chipotle were trading up about 6% at $472.11 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $485.25 and a 52-week trading range of $399.14 to $758.61.