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Chipotle uses festival to test kale salad, gordita with pineapple

Meantime, McDonald's stock has gained a modest 9% during that same time span, as its U.S. sales have come under pressure amid concerns about food quality and high calorie counts.

Cultivate isn't just all just for show, however. Chipotle does stand to reap several more tangible benefits from it as well.

The first could be a jolt in sales in the markets after a Cultivate festival wraps up as attendees spread the word about a growing chain that believe it or not, many people still have not visited.

"We don't necessarily see definitive spikes in sales, and that's not really the point -- the point is much more an educational thing," explained Arnold. "That said, the events also happen in the spring and summer, early fall months which are seasonally speaking busier periods for us -- our business tends to rise during that time anyway." 

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