For a fast-food chain known for burritos, Chipotle Mexican Grill sure is branching out.
The company announced five new menu items today: quesadillas, nachos, Mexican chocolate milkshakes, avocado tostadas, and a salad with avocado-citrus dressing.
“We wanted something snacky,” test kitchen chef Chad Brauze explained during the menu unveiling on Thursday at the company’s New York test kitchen.
More snack items doesn’t just expand the chain’s offerings. It means more potential spending on additional items at off-peak hours. In other words, customers not craving an arm-sized burrito would be more likely to pop in for some chips and a side salad—or may add a tostada to their burrito order. The company hopes that customers will like the new offerings enough to make them all permanent menu fixtures.
While the news of forthcoming milkshakes may be a surprise, Chipotle has been working on a major turnaround since its new chief executive, Brian Niccol, former CEO of Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, was appointed earlier this year.
In April, Chipotle billionaire investor Bill Ackman hinted at a menu expansion as one way for the decade-old chain to innovate, though breakfast burritos were perhaps a more expected addition than a salad.
The chain continues on the path of serious image rehab following a string of food-borne illness incidents in recent years, including an E. Coli outbreak in 2015 and a Norovirus episode last year.
Chipotle also announced another new offering last month: drive-thru windows, which are now open at several locations across the country.