Chipotle Mexican Grill is rolling out a new catering program that will bring its customizable menu to groups of up to 200, the company said Tuesday.
Restaurants in Colorado will begin offering the catering program on Jan. 21, the company said. In the coming months, all markets for the 1,350-unit fast-casual chain will offer catering.
Chipotle joins a growing number of limited-service restaurant chains that see an opportunity to build off-premise sales. Chains such as The Counter, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes have recently launched or have been rapidly building catering programs. Burger King is testing delivery in several markets, and Taco Bell is offering a variety Taco 12 Pack to go.
Chipotle’s program allows guests to cater meals featuring its “Food With Integrity.”
“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food by offering our customers better ingredients from more sustainable sources in a way that is affordable and accessible,” Steve Ells, Chipotle’s founder, chair and co-chief executive, said in a statement. “With catering, we can now better serve our customers by allowing them to bring Chipotle into their homes, offices and schools, where they can conveniently and effortlessly share the food that they love with large groups of people,” he added.
Designed for groups of 20 to 200, the program will include a taco and burrito bowl spread that can be ordered with two or three meats, such as grilledor steak, shredded barbacoa, or carnitas.
The price per person for two meats is $12, and $13.50 for the three-meat selection, said Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s communications director. The spread includes sides such as cilantro-lime rice, pinto and black beans, fresh salsas, housemade guacamole, and cheese and sour cream toppings. For 10 or more, a snack or smaller option includes a chips and salsa menu with guacamole, tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa, tomatillo-green-chili salsa and tomatillo-red-chili salsa. Two sizes are available: “Big,” which feeds 10 to 15 for $40; or “Bigger,” which feeds 15 to 20 for $55.
The company said all options are “easy to set up,” and come with chafing dishes and stands, along with fuel to keep dishes hot, utensils and napkins. Delivery is not available, the company said.
Meanwhile, the chain has rolled out Burritos by the Box, which is available for smaller groups in a to-go package in time for the Super Bowl, which Chipotle refers to as the “Super Big Internationally Televised Professional Football Bowl Game” on its website.
For smaller orders of six to up to 100, Burritos by the Box is available nationally for $8.20 per person. The offer will also be folded into the catering program.
With Burritos by the Box, guests can mix and match various meats or vegetarian selections in burritos with rice, beans, salsa and cheese. The option also includes chips and extra salsa, guacamole and sour cream for every two burritos ordered.
To kick off the launch, customers who place an order for six Burritos by the Box for Feb. 3 can redeem their original receipt for two free menu items, such as burritos, bowls, salad or tacos, on a repeat visit through Feb. 28. The promotional offer is also available for catering customers in Colorado, who will get two free entrees for orders of 20 or more if they order for Superbowl Sunday. Those who return their serving dish stands to Chipotle after the event will also get another free entrée card for later use.
Catering orders and burrito boxes of 50 or more must be placed at least 24 hours ahead of pick-up, the company said.