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Chipotle discontinues Farmesa Fresh Eatery spinoff following closure of ghost kitchen.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has decided to discontinue its spinoff concept, Farmesa Fresh Eatery, following the closure of its partner, Kitchen United’s ghost kitchens. Farmesa Fresh Eatery had opened its first location at Kitchen United’s Santa Monica location about a year ago. The concept focused on customizable bowls and emphasized its farm-to-table approach.

However, Kitchen United faced financial struggles, leading to the closure of its Santa Monica ghost kitchen in February. As a result, Chipotle has decided not to open a standalone version of Farmesa. Instead, the brand will continue to exist in Chipotle’s innovation lab for the development of new menu items.

Chipotle’s CEO, Brian Niccol, emphasized that the company’s primary focus is on its own brand, both in the U.S. and internationally. While he didn’t completely rule out the possibility of exploring opportunities outside of the brand, it is not a current priority for Chipotle.

Instead, Chipotle has been working on improving the efficiency and speed of its restaurants to enhance sales. In fact, the company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the first quarter of the year.

The closure of Kitchen United’s ghost kitchens is part of a larger trend in the industry. Ghost kitchens, also known as cloud or dark kitchens, became popular during the pandemic as restaurants sought ways to make food delivery more profitable. However, as customers started returning to dine-in options and capital became more expensive, many ghost kitchen startups faced challenges.

In March, SBE founder Sam Nazarian acquired Kitchen United’s remaining locations and intellectual property to create a new company called Everybody Eats.

Overall, while Chipotle Mexican Grill has decided to discontinue Farmesa Fresh Eatery due to the closure of its partner’s ghost kitchens, the company remains focused on its core brand and improving restaurant operations. As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how Chipotle adapts and innovates to meet changing consumer demands.

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