Though Chipotle abandoned its "Better Burger" trademark last month, the fast-casual giant is allegedly still moving forward with a burger concept — though one by a different name. A source close to the project tells Eater that Chipotle will not be using the name Better Burger and is instead going with the name "TastyMade."
Sure enough, a trademark application for "TastyMade" was filed on May 10. Though Chipotle Mexican Grill isn't listed as an applicant, the filing lists Clement Hayes — whose firm has worked with Chipotle for a number of years — as its attorney of record. The applicant's address is listed as 1430 Wynkoop St. in Denver, Colo. — the same address as Chipotle's legal firm.
Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold wouldn't confirm whether TastyMade is the name of the forthcoming burger concept, saying only, "It's no secret that we are interested in a burger concept. When we have more details to share regarding our plans, we will make those available."
Two Twitter accounts — @tastymade and @tastymadeburger — are live as of May 2016, though both are set to private (there are private Facebook and Instagram accounts with those handles, too). A source says that the first TastyMade store is set to open later this summer, in the Central Ohio area — possibly in Lancaster.
According to the same source, the restaurant will specialize in burgers, fries, and milkshakes. (It sounds a little bit like the menu at another modern chain.) David Chrisman, Chipotle's director of training, is allegedly overseeing much of the project. A general manager and assistant GM have already been hired, according to the source.
Chipotle did receive some backlash, though, when news first broke that it was considering opening a gourmet burger concept — an industry that is already getting crowded — especially in the wake of a massive food safety crisis.
In an earlier conversation with Eater, restaurant analyst Howard Penney called the burger trademark a "distraction at best." Rather than focusing on diversification of ancillary brands brands like Shophouse Asian Kitchen, Locale Pizza, and now, perhaps, TastyMade, Penney argued that Chipotle needs to focus on fixing its core business for the foreseeable future. "They prided themselves on the ability to do one thing really well, and they screwed that up. To think that they can do multiple other things — pizza, Asian, burgers — is not responsible."
The market took notice, too — following the "Better Burger" announcement in March, shares of Shake Shack went down, while Chipotle's shares rose slightly.