Fast-casual chain prepares Asian-inspired concept that will use its hallmark service style.
Chipotle Mexican Grille announced it plans to open ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, the company's new concept, later this summer in Washington, D.C. The ShopHouse concept is inspired by the traditional shophouses found throughout Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. Shophouses are classical two- or three-story buildings where families live upstairs and run restaurants or fresh markets on the ground level.
While the menu will feature southeast Asian flavors, the ingredients will be sustainably-raised, as is the case at Chipotle Mexican Grille restaurants. Customers will move along a service line and customize their meal according to their preference, in a format similar to Chipotle's current style of service.
"I have always believed that the Chipotle model would work well with a variety of different cuisines," says Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "This cuisine gives us a great opportunity to prove the idea that the Chipotle model can work with other cuisines. Anyone who has traveled throughout Southeast Asia can tell you that food there is served very fast. It's also full of flavor, nutritious and affordable."