December 2, 2023

Chipotle’s quesadilla

Chipotle Mexican Grill

It was well worth the wait for the Chipotle Mexican Grill quesadillas.

After years of tinkering with the recipe, the burrito chain launched the menu item as a digital exclusive product in mid-March. So far, it seems like it has been worth it for Chipotle to take the time to see if it has paid off. CEO Brian Niccol said Wednesday that around 10% of customers order the quesadillas, which is the first new main course in 17 years.

“We made sure we took the right time to create a great product that consumers love and that works well operationally,” he told analysts.

Niccol also said that “many” new customers buy quesadillas so they don’t sell burrito shells or tacos. At the same time as the market launch, Chipotle recorded the highest new customer rate in March. In addition, customers who order the quesadillas create a new occasion to eat, like an afternoon snack.

The successful launch of quesadillas could have been a factor in Chipotle’s digital revenue growth in the first quarter. Online orders more than doubled in the quarter, accounting for 50.1% of total sales. For the first time, personal orders were overtaken.

Chipotle’s shares rose less than 1% in expanded trading on Wednesday after the company released its first quarter results. The company broke Wall Street earnings estimates and met sales expectations.