Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. will roll out spicy chorizo sausage as a protein option to the chain’s 2,000 domestic restaurants on Tuesday, the company said Monday.
Chorizo has been available in five markets since June, after the chain first tested the ingredient in Kansas City, Mo., last year. It’s the first new menu item to be introduced by Chipotle since 2014, when the chain began rolling out a braised tofu called Sofritas.
“The reaction to chorizo in the cities that have had it has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re making it available in all of our restaurants across the country,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO, in a statement.
The new chorizo is made from a blend of pork and chicken, from animals that have been raised humanely without the use of hormones and antibiotics. The sausage is seasoned with paprika, toasted cumin and chipotle peppers, and is seared on a grill.
The move comes as Chipotle wraps its three-month-long Chiptopia rewards program, which ended at the close of September. Executives have hinted, however, that another loyalty program may be in the works.
Denver-based Chipotle is struggling to recoup lost traffic after a series of foodborne illness outbreaks scared off customers late last year.
Second-quarter same-store sales fell 23.6 percent, including a 19-percent drop in traffic. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings on Oct. 25.
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