Chipotle May Not Recover Until 2018; Burger Project Next?

Chipotle could struggle along until 2018, as the chain contemplates a burger biz

Despite its burrito giveaway and new food safety initiative, Chipotle is still struggling to get back on its feet following norovirus, salmonella and E. coli outbreaks in several of its stores around the country. One Wall Street investment firm says that the chain may not fully recover financially until 2018, Bloomberg reports.

Perhaps to help make up losses, Chipotle filed a trademark application earlier this month for Better Burger, a fast-casual burger shop that the company is apparently considering opening. "We have two non-Chipotle growth seeds open now—ShopHouse and Pizzeria Locale," Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold tells Bloomberg, adding that they "have noted before that the Chipotle model could be applied to a wide variety of foods."

If the company does go the burger route, it will have some stiff competition. When Chipotle opened in 1993, it entered a relatively open market for a Mexican chain restaurant in the U.S. With the growth of Shake Shack, Five Guys and other burger chains, the situation will likely be quite different this time around.