The No. 1 and 2 brands could not be more different in this segment. Taco Bell officials call them “sales layers,” the departures from business-as-usual for the Big Tamale of Yum! Brands’ portfolio. The chain bid for the health-minded by trumpeting a Drive-Thru Diet Menu and, more recently, it’s expanded tests of breakfast and tinkered with a do-it-yourself taco bar that feeds four for $14.99. Management hints that more menu departures may be on the way.
On the other hand, there’s Chipotle, where about every fourth new restaurant this year will feature the A Model format, designed specifically for Tier 2 trade areas. Translation: It’s going after not-so-perfect sites with a smaller, lower-cost prototype. That thrust will lower the average cost per restaurant to $800,000 from $900,000. Meanwhile, the burrito specialist is investigating in an expansion of its sales day by testing breakfast, starting with an airport location.
|5||53||Moe’s Southwest Grill*||$321.2||$895.0||401||4||405|
|6||58||Baja Fresh Mexican Grill*||$300.0||$1,070.0||135||135||270|
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