Chipotle expands with new pizza and Asian-inspired concepts

Chipotle is expanding beyond its namesake burrito chain with the addition of two new fast-food restaurants. ShopHouse features a menu inspired by Southeast Asian cuisine while Pizzeria Locale serves made-to-order gourmet pizza.

The new restaurants will target the same customer base as Chipotle. The burrito chain will also distribute coupons to Chipotle customers in addition to other co-marketing efforts. Many of the new restaurants are located near existing Chipotle locations.

ShopHouse currently has one location in Washington, D.C. which launched as a test in 2011. Chipotle, which wholly owns the brand, will add up to 10 more locations in D.C. and Los Angeles by the end of this year.

The Pizzeria Locale chain launched in May 2013 with a single location in Denver. A second restaurant will open in Denver by the end of the year.

"Chipotle picked Southeast Asian fare because founder Steve Ells likes the big flavors of that cuisine. And [the company] invested in the pizzeria because Steve is impressed by the owners' expertise and the way they run their business," a Chipotle representative told AdWeek.

ShopHouse and Pizzeria Locale offer counter service where diners walk up and custom order their meal, the same way that orders are placed at the roughly 1,600 Chipotle locations. Pizzeria Locale offers made-to-order pies cooked in less than two minutes in a rotating oven.

The $34 billion fast-casual industry has grown in recent years, with chains like Starbucks (NYSE: SBUX), Taco Bell and KFC adding new formats. Starbucks and San Francisco chain La Boulange Bakery are opening a quick-service restaurant in Los Angeles that will be open for dinner until 10 p.m. The menu will include pastries in the morning, salads and sandwiches for lunch and items like croissant burgers and french fries for dinner. Cocktails, beer and wine will also be available.

Yum! (NYSE: YUM) has been testing upscale versions in the KFC and Taco Bell families, unveiling a new concept this summer called U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Tap Room. The company last summer opened a fast-casual spin on KFC called KFC Eleven in Louisville, Kentucky and revealed plans earlier this month to open a new fast-food operation in Texas called Super Chix which will focus on premium fried chicken sandwiches and french fries.

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