Industry News | April 12, 2011

Chipotle Reveals Asian Concept

Chipotle Mexican Grill unveiled additional details for its new restaurant concept slated to open this summer. The concept, ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, is inspired by the traditional shophouses found throughout Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Shophouses are classical two- or three-story buildings where families live upstairs and run restaurants or fresh markets on the ground level.

The ShopHouse menu will pair the bold and complex flavors of Southeast Asia with fresh, sustainably raised ingredients; grilled and braised meats; a variety of fresh vegetables; aromatic herbs; spicy sauces; and an array of garnishes. Customers will move along a service line and customize their meal according to flavor preference and diet, in a format similar to the one that has become the hallmark of Chipotle’s success.

“I have always believed that the Chipotle model would work well with a variety of different cuisines,” says Steve Ells, founder, chairman, and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Chipotle’s success is not necessarily about burritos and tacos, but rather about serving great, sustainably raised food that is delicious, affordable, and convenient.”

“Anyone who has traveled throughout Southeast Asia can tell you that food there is served very fast—it’s also full of flavor, nutritious, and affordable,” Ells says. “This cuisine gives us a great opportunity to prove the idea that the Chipotle model can work with other cuisines.”

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is scheduled to open summer 2011 in Washington, D.C.