Photo: Aranami, Flickr
As Nation's Restaurant News reports, Chipotle founder Steve Ells is developing an Asian-inspired "fast-casual" restaurant concept that will likely share his original chain's vision of fast food made with a preference for organic, locally grown produce and naturally raised meat.
Ells clearly believes that the model he developed with Chipotle can find success with other types of fare. As he said in a statement published in NRN: "Chipotle is not successful because we serve burritos and tacos. Our success comes from finding the very best sustainably raised ingredients, prepared and cooked using classical methods in front of the customer...[W]hile our Chipotle restaurants will, of course, remain our primary focus, we are also excited to see how this format works with other cuisines."
Beyond that, though, the company is keeping pretty tight-lipped about what this Chipotle-meets-Asia concept might look like, only saying that they expect to open their first incarnation of it in mid-2011.
No doubt, for the army of Michael Pollan groupies out there for whom Chipotle offers one of the few acceptable alternatives to fast food, the news that they soon might have more than just burritos and tacos to choose from will be only slightly less thrilling than, say, learning to smoke their own locally raised bacon.