Chipotle Mexican Grill to roll out chorizo nationwide

Chipotle adding chorizo to menu boards nationwide
Chipotle adding chorizo to menu boards nationwide

Fans of spicy burritos can rejoice. Chipotle Mexican Grill's chorizo is getting a nationwide rollout.

"The reaction to chorizo in the cities that have had it has been overwhelmingly positive, so we're making it available in all of our restaurants across the country," Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle, said in a statement on Monday.

The burrito chain previously launched a limited release of the spicy chicken and pork sausage in five markets back in June. The nationwide rollout comes just days after the company's Chiptopia rewards program ended.

The company received a boost from its Chiptopia program during the second quarter. On a call with analysts in July, the chain said it would launch another loyalty program, though it has not yet determined if it will be permanent.

Chipotle CEO Steve Ells noted that July sales had improved by 200 to 300 basis points because of the loyalty program, which has attracted more than 3.6 million participants.

The nationwide launch of chorizo is yet another attempt by the company to win back customers it lost to a series of foodborne illness outbreaks. During the month of September, Chipotle offered free kids' meals with the purchase of an adult entree on Sundays and gave away free drinks to high school and college students who presented a school ID when they purchased an entree.

Chipotle's same-store sales plunged nearly 30 percent in the first quarter, when it reported its first quarterly loss as a public company. The company swung back to profitability in the second quarter, but same-store sales declined 26.5 percent.