We’ve previously written about the growing influence TikTok has on the restaurant industry, as more operators realize positive returns on ad investment and growing discovery from the wildly popular platform. That influence is even clearer now as Chipotle announced today it is turning a viral TikTok menu hack into an actual menu offering.
Beginning March 2, Chipotle customers will be able to order the fajita quesadilla through the app or online in the U.S. and Canada. The creation first came to life by TikTok creators Keith Lee and Alexis Frost. In late 2022, Frost reviewed a Chipotle steak quesadilla with fajita veggies, calling it a “perfect 10” for her 2.4 million followers. Lee stitched Frost’s TikTok with a video sampling the quesadilla with Chipotle-honey vinaigrette dressing combined with sour cream. Lee also rated his menu hack a “10 out of 10” rating for his 10.7-plus million followers. Chipotle said in the week following the their videos, the company generated more than 30.6 million views, 3.7 million likes, 47,200 comments and 69,5000 shares about the steak quesadilla with fajita veggies.
“TikTok has not only changed the way we communicate with Gen Z, but it’s proven it can identify areas of opportunity within our business,” CMO Chris Brandt said in a statement. “With the launch of the fajita quesadilla, we are celebrating Keith, Alexis, and all our super fans who were craving this delicious customization while prioritizing support for our employees.”
This marks the first time Chipotle is offering quesadillas with a choice of proteins and fajita veggies, for a total of five new quesadilla options:
- Steak quesadilla with fajita veggies
- Chicken quesadilla with fajita veggies
- Barbacoa quesadilla with fajita veggies
- Carnitas quesadilla with fajita veggies
- Sofritas quesadilla with fajita veggies
Each quesadilla is served with three sides, including the option of Chipotle-honey vinaigrette dressing.
Also, as a nod to the creators, Chipotle is launching Lee’s custom order, calling it the “Keithadilla,” which includes a fajita quesadilla with steak and roasted chili-corn salsa, sour cream and Chipotle-honey vinaigrette on the side. Frost’s “Fajita Quesadilla Hack” is also available and includes a fajita quesadilla with steak and roasted chili-corn salsa, tomatillo red-chili salsa and sour cream on the side.
TikTok-inspired menu hacks have posed a bit of an operational challenge for some brands. One Starbucks employee, for instance, recently went viral after begging customers to stop ordering such hacks because it poses operational challenges, stating, “Stop with the hacks. Stop making minimum wage workers do circles for you.”
In a press release, Chipotle also acknowledged the fajita quesadilla menu hack “posed a challenge” after it was posted on TikTok because it was not an official menu item on digital channels. The company said it “quickly mobilized to execute tech updates for its approximately 3,700 locations and conducted training for more than 100,000 employees.”
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]