Chipotle Considering Drive-Thru Windows, Breakfast Options

In an effort to boost their brand performance, the founder chats with Bloomberg about possible expansions

Guys, your favorite neighborhood Chipotle might end up like every other fast-food restaurant out there: hawking breakfast options and drive-thrus.

Bloomberg reports that since Chipotle sales have gone down, founder Steve Ells is considering options including running more commercials, adding breakfast items, and installing drive-thru windows. And while this might boost sales, some analysts feel this will detract from Chipotle's brand of fast, good-quality Mexican food.

"You have to be careful of the death by a thousand cuts, where you’re making a series of decisions that might have little compromises," marketing professor Kevin Lane Keller told Bloomberg. In fact, Ells has reportedly said Chipotle would never become a fast-food joint, but a drive-thru window in particular would interrupt Chipotle's production-line service, ruining everyone's chances of asking for extra corn salsa on their burrito bowl at the last minute.

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Of course, the drive-thru addition might boost sales. Bloomberg notes that U.S. fast-food chains generated 24 percent of sales through drive-thrus in the past year (ending in August). On the bright side, we wouldn't mind Chipotle breakfast burritos.