Chipotle abandons its burger concept, Tasty Made

The company shuttered the lone Ohio location of its fast-food restaurant

Diners eat at a Chipotle restaurant in Chicago.
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Diners eat at a Chipotle restaurant in Chicago.

Chipotle is saying goodbye to burgers: The burrito slinger has shuttered the one and only location of its fast-food concept Tasty Made, the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette reports.

The restaurant opened in the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Lancaster in October 2016, with a barebones, In-N-Out-style menu of burgers, fries, and shakes. It was decidedly not an instant hit: The food got decidedly "meh" reviews from the get-go, with customers complaining it was both mediocre and overpriced.

Tasty Made switched to conventionally raised beef and lowered its prices, and when that didn't seem to do the trick, it brought on chef Richard Blais as a partner to retool the food.

Blais's new menu seemed to resonate with customers, but apparently it wasn't enough: "While we liked the concept and the delicious food at Tasty Made, the economics were not what we wanted them to be in Lancaster, Ohio, so we have decided to close that restaurant," says Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold.

"Richard Blais was never a Chipotle employee, but he has been a great partner in this venture, and his talents quickly elevated the quality of the food at Tasty Made," Arnold adds. "The decision to close is in no way a reflection on Richard or his capabilities as a chef and restaurateur, and we would certainly consider working with him again if there was a good opportunity to do so."

Meanwhile, Chipotle just hired a new CEO, formerly of Taco Bell, and investors seem optimistic that Brian Niccol can turn things around at the struggling burrito chain. Niccol officially takes the reins on March 5, replacing company founder Steve Ells, who is now the company's executive chairman.

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