Qdoba adds mix-and-match combos

WHEAT RIDGE Colo. Answering customer requests for affordable ways to try multiple menu items at one sitting, Qdoba Mexican Grill has introduced Craft 2, a mix-and-match combo option priced from $5.99 to $7.39.

With Craft 2, Qdoba joins other restaurant chains looking to offer variety and value through set-price, multiple-option combo meals, such Quiznos, which recently unveiled a $5 Choose 2 Menu. To support Craft 2, Qdoba on Tuesday launched the www.qdobacraftyourlife.com [3] microsite that includes product news and Facebook.com and Twitter.com social networking components, among other features.

“While our menu is known for offering variety, we created Craft 2 as a direct response to our guests who wanted to experience more flavors in one meal,” said Gary Beisler, president and chief executive of Qdoba. “Guests are now able to enjoy two of their favorite items prepared the way they want or try new dishes and signature flavors that perhaps they haven’t experienced before.”

Apermanent addition to the regular menu, Craft 2 lets patrons select two of the chain’s most popular menu items, some of which are served at half of their normal portion size, for a set price. Doug Thielen, Qdoba’s manager of non-traditional marketing and public relations, said Craft 2 is priced at $5.99 in most markets, but in some regions will cost up to $7.39.

In keeping with Craft 2’s marketing tagline of “Smaller Size. Bigger Variety,” the chain’s Grilled Quesadilla, Naked Burrito and Naked Taco Salad menu items, when used in the combo, are prepared at half their normal serving size, Thielen said. He said the tacos and tortilla soup included on the Craft 2 menu are standard portions.

Qdoba officials also noted that some Craft 2 combos weigh in at 600 calories or less, including a pairing of the Naked Taco Salad with grilled vegetables and a pulled-pork taco. Customers can use a calculator at Qdoba's website to see the nutritional metrics of menu items prepared as they want.

Achain of more than 500 fast-casual Mexican restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia, Qdoba saw its systemwide same-store sales fall 2.3 percent in fiscal 2009 ended Sept. 27, compared with growth of 1.6 percent in fiscal 2008. The chain is a division of San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc.

Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected] [4].