Chipotle’s new burger concept restaurant, Tasty Made, is off to a bit of a rough start after opening late October in Lancaster, Ohio.
In order to bring more customers in, the restaurant recently decided to reduce its prices. But that means also dropping “food with integrity” from the menu.
Prices have fallen significantly since opening. What used to be a more than $6 double cheeseburger now costs $4.10. Single cheeseburgers are now $2.50 and fries $1.95, giving Tasty Made a competitive edge against neighboring Five Guys, Nation’s Restaurant News reported.
To cut those costs, Tasty Made had to ditch a core staple of the Chipotle ethos, “food with integrity.” On Tasty Made’s website, the beef is now listed as “conventionally raised, 100 percent American beef.”
Ohioans’ reception to Tasty Made has overall been kind of meh. (Although it is worth noting, Tasty Made’s Yelp rating has climbed one-half star since November to 2.5 stars.) In addition to trouble attracting new customers, Tasty Made’s squabble over alleged copyright infringement with Boston-based Tasty Burger is still ongoing.
In a statement to Eater, a Chipotle spokesperson compared Tasty Made to the early stages of Chipotle.
“Tasty Made is very much in that stage, where our focus is on things like introducing the restaurant and perfecting the experience,” the spokesperson wrote. “In time, Chipotle found ways to improve the quality of ingredients we used (including Responsibly Raised meats, pasture-raised dairy, and local and organically grown produce), and we anticipate that we’ll do the same at Tasty Made.”
The spokesperson also took a jab at other “better burger” places, calling them out for not using responsibly raised meat.
There is no word on when or if Tasty Made will switch back to pasture-raised, antibiotic and hormone-free meat. But for those midwesterners looking for a modestly priced burger, made from conventional beef, a second Tasty Made is expected to open in Pickering, Ohio, in February.
Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here.