Chipotle pulls plug on 'Tasty Made,' its attempt at fast-casual burgers

Chipotle is getting itself out of the burger game.

Just a few months after Chipotle’s sister restaurant, Tasty Made, revamped its entire menu to “enhance” its fast-casual burger concept, Chipotle has decided to close the one and only Tasty Made test location in Lancaster, Ohio.

“While we liked the concept and the delicious food at Tasty Made, the economics were not what we wanted them to be in Lancaster, Ohio, so we have decided to close that restaurant,” said Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold in a statement to Fox News.

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The restaurant first debuted in October 2016 to middling reviews, with some diners on Yelp taking umbrage at the restaurant’s thin burger pattiesmediocre flavor and item prices, with some claiming that the burgers were barely better than cheaper fare at Wendy’s or McDonald’s.

In response, Chipotle announced a partnership with “Top Chef” alum Richard Blais, who was brought on to “fine-tune” the menu. Those changes took effect in December 2017, but Blais' food — while better received — may have debuted too late.

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“Richard Blais has been a great partner in this venture, and his talents quickly elevated the quality of the food at Tasty Made," added Arnold. "The decision to close is in no way a reflection on Richard or his capabilities as a chef and restaurateur, and we would certainly consider working with him again if there was a good opportunity to do so."

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Arnold confirmed that Tasty Made's former employees were given the opportunity to apply for positions at Chipotle. He did not say whether Chipotle had any plans to reopen Tasty Made in a different market, or if the company has abandoned the concept entirely. 

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Chipotle's Tasty Made was not the first non-Mexican restaurant concept the company has tested: Chipotle currently operates seven locations of the Pizzeria Locale chain, and had also opened a chain of Southeast Asian-inspired ShopHouse Kitchens, though all were closed as of 2017.