Chipotle Mexican Grill, which hasn’t opened a new restaurant in Canada since 2018, is ramping up expansion in the country, the fast casual announced Tuesday.
Newport Beach, Calif.-based Chipotle said it intends to open eight new locations in Canada this year, starting with the first restaurant in Surrey, BC slated to debut next week.
This summer, Chipotle said it plans to open its first Canadian order-ahead Chipotlane in British Columbia.
The remaining six new locations will open in Ontario and British Columbia this year, joining the 23 Chipotle units currently in Canada.
Chipotle has tested Canadian units, using its “stage-gate process,” the chain said.
“Canada has cleared our stage-gate process, and we are ready to accelerate new restaurant openings,” CFO Jack Hartung said in a statement. “We will be experimenting with different location formats and restaurant designs throughout the country to gauge consumer preferences in various markets.”
Last May, Chipotle partnered with Uber Eats to expand delivery in Canada. In June, the brand launched a Canadian app.
Many of the chain’s menu innovations available to U.S. diners are now on Canadian menus, including customizable quesadillas and Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice.
“Given the rising popularity of Chipotle’s real food in Canada, we believe there is a massive growth opportunity in this international market,” Anat Davidzon, marketing director of Chipotle’s Canadian operations, said in a statement. “Our team is focused on continuing to find ways to increase access to Chipotle for our Canadian fans.”
Chipotle last opened a Canadian location in October 2018 in Ontario.