Chipotle is getting serious about breaking into the burger business.
The Mexican Grill announced its partnering with “Top Chef” alum Richard Blais to expand its new burger concept, Tasty Made.
In a press release, the company said Blais will "revisit the restaurant with a fresh eye" and develop new menu items. Blais is also said to be bringing "his fine dining knowledge and considerable experience in the fast-casual space to the upstart.”
Tasty Made currently sells burgers, fries, shakes and sodas at a single location in Lancaster, Ohio, which opened in October 2016. Shortly after its debut, people took to Twitter to express their middling feelins with the food. Reviews on Yelp currently average 3-star rating.
But Blais, who appeared on "Top Chef" twice and won "Top Chef: All Stars" in 2011, is no newcomer to the restaurant business. He currently operates several restaurants in California, and back in 2008, launched Atlanta-based burger chain, Flip Burger Boutique.
Tasty Made says they aim to make food using "whole, unprocessed ingredients," and Blais has said he's happy to get behind the concept.
“Steve [founder, chairman and CEO of Chipotle] and Chipotle have had such a significant impact on reinventing fast food,” Blais said in the press release. “There is no more iconic fast food than burgers, and I have always thought that there is a way to do them on a really big scale without compromising the quality of the food or the overall restaurant experience.”
The company has yet to share where it plans to open the next Tasty Made.
“We have not yet shared expansion plans,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said. “The initial priority with Richard will be to do some fine tuning with the food and the menu, and we’ll look at where we would like to go next from that point.”