Drive-Thrus? Franchising? It’s All on Chipotle’s Table Now

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
’s new chief executive officer says pretty much everything’s on the table to turn around the beleaguered chain.

The company will consider franchising and opening drive-thru restaurants, according to CEO Brian Niccol — things that founder and Chairman Steve Ells hasn’t embraced in the past. It could be a big culture shock for the burrito seller, which also will rely on new foods and testing to bring back customers.

The brand had been “invisible” in the past, Niccol said on his first Chipotle earnings call, and he plans to change that.

first-quarter same-store sales on Wednesday that topped analysts’ projections, just seven weeks after the former Taco Bell CEO took the helm.

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