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The Wall Street Journal reports that Chipotle, the taco and burrito chain that saw its "food with integrity" reputation take an extended hit because of a series of food safety issues, is developing a new chain called Better Burger.

According to the story, "A new restaurant concept around burgers would add to Chipotle’s group of small chains, including ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen and Pizzeria Locale. Each only has a few locations so far, but they are expanding."

The Journal goes on to note that "Chipotle benefited for years from the success of its business model, which uses a limited list of fresh ingredients to allow people to create customized orders in a few minutes. The strategy, pinned to offering higher quality than traditional fast food, brought Chipotle years of rapid sales growth, but also, a lot of copycats. Last year, Chipotle’s growth began to slow, as it faced new competitors focused on serving fresh food fast, while the likes of McDonald’s Corp. invaded its turf with moves like eliminating artificial ingredients."
KC's View:
All of which has meant that Chipotle has had to try new things, like testing new formats and concepts focused on different cuisines. Of course, its emphasis on fresh food also has had to be adjusted, with less emphasis on local sourcing and more centralization, since lack of control seemed to be at the heart of its food safety problems.

Normally, as someone who likes better burger places such as Shake Shack, I'd be jazzed about this news. But I'm not ready to go back to Chipotle yet, and I'm not ready to try one of its other concepts.