Chipotle to launch new spin-off restaurant Farmesa

There will be a soft opening at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica with an abbreviated menu and limited hours

Chipotle Mexican Grill is launching a new spinoff restaurant dedicated to serving up healthier foods. 

It's called Farmesa Fresh Eatery. 

The fast-casual chain announced Wednesday that it partnered with ghost kitchen company Kitchen United in California to test the new concept. 

The plan is to conduct a soft opening at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica with an abbreviated menu and limited hours this month before officially rolling out in March. 

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Chipotle's new fresh eatery concept, Farmesa.

Chipotle's new fresh eatery concept, Farmesa.

Chipotle told FOX Business that the goal is to expand beyond the virtual setting but for the time being, customers will be able to order pick up or delivery at Kitchen United Mix space in Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade through apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash.

The benefit of utilizing a ghost kitchen is that it allows the company to reach a larger number of consumers "learn quickly, and evolve our concept and menu so that we can deliver on our goals before expanding," according to Nate Lawton, vice president of Chipotle's New Ventures. 

It also means the company can attempt the new concept with reduced risk. 

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Chipotle New York City

A signage is seen in a Chipotle outlet in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., February 7, 2022.  (Reuters/Andrew Kelly / Reuters)

In the past, Chipotle tried to create the ChopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, a Southeast Asian restaurant developed by Chipotle Mexican Grill in 2011 and Tasty Made, a burger restaurant which opened in 2016. 

Both concepts were later shut down a few years later. 

This is the first spin-off under CEO Brian Niccol, who assumed the role in 2018. Niccol said in a statement that one of Chipotle's strategic objectives "is to create or invest in emerging culinary spaces and restaurant concepts that fit within Chipotle's food with integrity mission and make fresh food daily."  

This latest restaurant is said to be a "fresh, bold concept" committed to serving fresh ingredients. The menu will feature proteins, greens, grains and vegetables inspired by Chipotle's Food with Integrity standards.

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Chipotle

Chipotle restaurant in Santa Clara, Calif., Oct. 19, 2021.  (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg / Getty Images)

It will also serve 100% Certified Organic, non-GMO and all-natural drinks from Tractor Beverage Co, the company said.  

William Blair analyst Sharon Zackfia believes the latest concept "does have the potential to resonate with consumers, given consumer appetite for healthy bowls as evidenced by Sweetgreen's success in both urban and suburban settings." 

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