Chipotle is testing pollo asado in two US cities, marking the first time in nearly 30 years the chain has experimented with a new chicken recipe.
The limited-time offering launched Tuesday in 95 restaurants across Cincinnati, Ohio, and Sacramento, California. In a statement, Chipotle said the chicken is seasoned with a dry rub of several spices, including cumin and guajillo peppers, then seared on the grill and finished with garlic, chili peppers and fresh-squeezed lime.
Chicken is a “top protein choice” among its customers, according to Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer. He said that the pollo asado option is “another perfect complement” to its current chicken selection, which includes adobo-flavored chicken.
Similar to other new menu items, Chipotle is using its trusted “stage-gate process” to test the pollo asado before taking it nationwide. The most recent menu item the chain tested using this process was a plant-based chorizo at locations in Denver and Indianapolis. Other offerings that started in a few US cities before expanding nationwide include riced cauliflower, carne asada and its popular quesadilla.
Chipotle recently added smoked brisket to US menus, but the offering is disappearing from restaurants earlier than expected because it proved so popular with customers.
Chipotle has been performing well over the past few months, despite raising its menu prices to cover the costs of higher wages and ingredients. In the third quarter, revenue grew 22% to $2 billion. Sales at restaurants open at least 13 months spiked 15%.
However, as with other restaurant chains, Chipotle said “uncertainty remains on several fronts” that could affect its fourth-quarter earnings, including staffing challenges and inflation.
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.