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Chipotle to exit ShopHouse Asian food chain as it narrows its focus

A employee sprinkles cheese on a burrito at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Hollywood, California.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A employee sprinkles cheese on a burrito at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Hollywood, California.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is narrowing its focus.

CEO Steve Ells said that the company is ditching its Asian food concept ShopHouse in favor of driving menu innovation at its namesake division and bolstering its pizza business, Pizzeria Locale, and its soon-to-open Tasty Made burger chain.

"After operating in three diverse markets, we have determined ShopHouse hasn't demonstrated an attractive unit economic model," Ells said on an earnings call Tuesday.

ShopHouse, which started in 2011 and grew to 15 restaurants in three markets, dinged the company's net income during the third quarter. Chipotle said it took a $14.5 million charge to fully impair its assets.

Ells said the company is "exploring strategic alternatives" for exiting the ShopHouse locations and will not be making additional investments in it.