Chipotle Branches Out With New Concept in SoCal

Following a soft open with a limited menu, Farmesa opens in March.

Farmesa Bowl Salmon 8633 C copy
Farmesa will serve customizable bowls, like this salmon bowl. Courtesy of Chipotle.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is testing the waters in Southern California.

Today, Feb. 15, the famed burrito brand announced its new concept, called Farmesa, which will officially open next month in the Kitchen United Mix ghost kitchen in Santa Monica, Calif.

The menu features customizable bowls, ranging in price from $11.95 and $16.95. Each bowl features a protein, green or grain, two sides, a choice of five sauces and a topping option. Customers can order on-site via kiosks, through apps including DoorDash and Uber Eats for pickup or delivery, or on the Kitchen United website.

“Our New Ventures team, which was created in 2022, developed a unique restaurant concept that uses classic culinary techniques with flavorful ingredients in a fast-casual setting that we’re excited to test and learn on before we determine a broader rollout strategy.”

Farmesa PR Jpgs v2 11

“One of our strategic objectives is to create or invest in emerging culinary spaces and restaurant concepts that fit within Chipotle’s food with integrity mission and make fresh food daily,” says Brian Niccol, chairman and CEO, in a press release. “Our New Ventures team, which was created in 2022, developed a unique restaurant concept that uses classic culinary techniques with flavorful ingredients in a fast-casual setting that we’re excited to test and learn on before we determine a broader rollout strategy.”

At first, Farmesa will offer a limited menu to assist the team in learning cooking techniques and maximizing throughput, the brand says. Meanwhile, the full menu offers dishes such as Classic Santa Maria-Style Grilled Tri-Tip Steak, Everything Spice-Crusted Ora King Salmon, whipped potatoes, golden beets, sprouted cauliflower and sweet potato chips.

The menu was curated by James Beard Award-winning Chef Nate Appleman, who is the director of culinary innovation at Farmesa. Appleman also led menu innovations for Chipotle in the mid- to late-2000s.

Chipotle New Fresh Eatery Concept Farmesa

Chipotle, in its most recent earnings call, highlighted that it opened 236 new restaurants, included 202 with a Chipotlane, in 2022. That marks Chipotle’s highest number of new restaurant openings in six years.

This year, Chipotle says it aims to open 255 to 285 new restaurants (including 10 to 15 relocations to add a Chipotlane), assuming utility, construction, permit and material supply delays don’t worsen.

Now, with Farmesa in the mix, the brand also expects to test and learn on future restaurant concepts.

“Launching Farmesa in the Kitchen United Mix food hall in Santa Monica and partnering with third-party partners for pickup or delivery will allow us to reach a large number of consumers, learn quickly, and evolve our concept and menu so that we can deliver on our goals before expanding,” says Nate Lawton, VP of New Ventures at Chipotle.

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