New Yorkers, get thee to 6th Avenue: Chipotle has opened up its first and only public test kitchen in Chelsea and it’s serving up the chain’s newest dishes and allowing customers to try out and test new restaurant technology (like ordering from a touch screen).
At the test kitchen, you’ll find dishes like salad greens with avocado citrus dressing, two kinds of frozen margaritas, and…. queso! What’s the big deal with queso?
Welp, because Chipotle only uses 60 ingredients to make everything on their menu, it’s been difficult for the chain to mix up a reliable product. Read: they would have to use additives or artificial ingredients to make a delicious queso that would keep on the line. Apparently, they’ve fixed that problem!
The test kitchen, called NEXT, is part of a $50 million marketing plan to revamp Chipotle’s image. The company has been struggling to regain lost footing after e.coli and Norovirus outbreaks in 2015 and 2016.
And facing competition from other “fast casual” concepts, the chain is trying to up its game. Chipotle doesn’t usually add new menu items (only three since opening in 1993). So the test kitchen is a way to gauge popularity for new dishes and figure out how to roll them out in new markets.
If we make it to the test kitchen, we’ll let you know how it goes. And we don’t have lunch plans today, just sayin.