Chipotle Mexican Grill
The fast-growing burrito roller will be launching its new Asian concept in Washington, D.C., this summer, far away from its Colorado headquarters.
ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen -- named after the multilevel residential buildings with street-level storefronts found in Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam -- isn't a surprise. Chipotle announced that it would be launching an Asian concept five months ago.
It also isn't really a shock to see Chipotle introduce the concept somewhere far removed from its Denver base. You want to have an unbiased audience kick the tires. Locals might warm up too easily to the home team.
Is it too soon for Chipotle to be thinking about a sister concept?
It obviously doesn't need a second growth engine at this point. Chipotle is coming off a stellar quarter where revenue and earnings climbed by 25% and 47%, respectively. It's not showing any signs of peaking. It may have more than 1,000 restaurants open, but former parent McDonald's
It's never too early to begin thinking about the future. Shares of Chipotle hit a fresh all-time high this morning of $282.76, overcoming rising commodity prices, an undocumented-worker scandal, and valuation fears.
The time is also ripe to go Asian.
Investor appetite for Asian dining even paved the way for China's own Country Style Cooking
The beauty of breaking in a new concept now rather than later is that the company can quickly recover if ShopHouse proves to be a dud. Again, it doesn't need a second growth engine -- and that's the point.
Can Chipotle make a second concept in an unrelated niche pan out or is it a dim sum? Check in on either side of the argument in the comment box below.