Food

What’s next on Chipotle’s menu?

The chain's first dessert is off the menu—here's what's in the pipeline.

Bunuelos are the latest menu casualty at Chipotle Mexican Grill. The chain’s first dessert—fried tortillas topped with honey, sugar and cinnamon—made its debut last May at Chipotle’s Next Kitchen, the chain’s test restaurant in New York City. But “we didn’t love how it was working,” spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email. Bloomberg reported on Feb. 2 that the bunuelos were “a flop” and taken out of test, but Arnold says the test was discontinued in September.

“The aim in creating [Next Kitchen] was to give us a space where we could move menu items in and out, so there will often be changes that occur at this location,” he said. Other desserts are among the items in the queue to be tested, Arnold said, but right now, Next is testing frozen margaritas, a new mix of salad greens, an avocado-citrus salad dressing and nachos as a side item. The margaritas test has since expanded to 20-plus locations in Austin, Texas.

For years, new menu items were a rare bird on Chipotle’s menu, but recent additions are part of the chain’s effort to attract lapsed customers—a challenge it has faced since a dropoff in traffic after recurring food-safety crises in 2015. Its debut of queso in September was met with mixed reviews, and Chipotle revamped the recipe and relaunched a new version in December. The queso is currently offered on the side of nachos at Next Kitchen.

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