Chipotle is the Tiger Woods of fast-casual food chains. Once an unstoppable force with industry leading sales growth, one controversy after another caused Chipotle’s stock to plummet more than 55 percent since 2015. Like Woods, we’re all rooting for Chipotle’s returned success, but consistent strings of noro-virus and driving zooted on prescription drugs doesn’t help either of their cases.
For years now, customers have urged Chipotle to add queso to its menu, as this offering is competitor Qdoba’s bread and butter. And for years, Chipotle has said that it will not serve queso unless it is consistent with its stated mission. But, in what seems a desperate effort to garner some good press, the Mexican chain rolled out queso across all stores, and an estimated 30 percent of customers have given it a go.
According to a Goldman Sachs analyst, reactions to the new offering “suggest few customers will become repeat consumers.”
“A very negative reaction to the queso launch suggests Chipotle launched a product that is not meeting consumer expectations, and, as a result, missed a potentially significant opportunity to add queso as an incremental add-on,” Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a research note Monday. [via CNN Money]
I’m no Goldman Sachs hot shot, but one cursory glance of Twitter indicates that Chipotle hasn’t quite nailed the recipe.
Note: I have tried it, and I didn’t think it ranked well below Qdoba’s, but wasn’t awful. I was also stoned.
[h/t CNN Money]