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Chipotle looking to expand: Files trademark for 'Better Burger'

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 03:  A general view of a Chipotle Mexican Grill store sign outside a location in downtown Portland on November 3, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. Chipotle Mexican Grill is temporarily closing more than 40 restaurants in and around Washignton and Oregon, as health officials investigate an E. coli outbreak that has gotten at least 22 people sick. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 03: A general view of a Chipotle Mexican Grill store sign outside a location in downtown Portland on November 3, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. Chipotle Mexican Grill is temporarily closing more than 40 restaurants in and around Washignton and Oregon, as health officials investigate an E. coli outbreak that has gotten at least 22 people sick. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

Chipotle apparently has burgers on its mind.

The Denver-based chain applied for a trademark for "Better Burger" earlier this month, according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A spokesman for Chipotle, Chris Arnold, noted the company has already started a pizza chain concept called Pizzeria Locale and an Asian food chain concept called ShopHouse.

Bloomberg first reported the news.

Arnold said Wednesday the company has noted the "Chipotle model could be applied to a wide variety of foods."

Chipotle, which has more than 2,000 stores, has surged in popularity by touting fresh ingredients and the flexibility to customize orders. That has led to numerous other "fast casual" restaurant openings.

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More recently, however, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is fighting to recover from a series of food scares that sent sales plunging.

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