Chipotle adds its first seasonal beverage

The burrito chain, seeking to boost in-restaurant ticket sizes, is adding Watermelon Limeade for a limited time.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Photo courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill is adding its first seasonal beverage to the menu, available only for dine-in or carryout customers.

Watermelon Limeade, created via a partnership between the burrito chain and Tractor Beverage Co., is made with natural, organic, non-GMO ingredients and no additives or preservatives.

The beverage, which is available for a limited time, joins the other Tractor beverages on Chipotle’s menu, including lemonade, mandarin agua fresca and berry agua fresca. All of those drinks are only available for dine-in and carryout.

Chipotle’s bottled Tractor Beverage lemonade and black tea are also available for delivery orders.

Adding specialty beverages is one way to drive up check averages on dine-in orders, something Chipotle has noted as an issue.

In April, Chipotle executives noted it was seeing lower check sizes as customers started returning to dining rooms and digital orders slowed. In-restaurant sales increased by 33% during the first quarter, while digital remained 40% of the business.

“I think you’re still going to see year over year, the group size is going to be lower,” CFO Jack Hartung told investors. “Mix, for the foreseeable future, is going to be at this lower check size because we’re comparing to last year where, most of the year, a good part of the year, still had very heavy digital.”

Chipotle tested the Watermelon Limeade last year in stores in Atlanta, Kansas City and Orange County, Calif.

“We’re thrilled to introduce our first seasonal beverage with the freshest flavors of summer,” VP of Marketing Stephanie Perdue said in a statement. “The consumer response to Watermelon Limeade surpassed expectations as it quickly became our bestselling Tractor Beverage in test markets last year.”

Five percent of the profits from sales of the Watermelon Limeade will be donated to causes that support farmers, the chain said.

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