Dear Steve Ells,
I crave burritos a lot. On a separate but equal level (actually though) I crave Chipotle a lot. Chipotle is it’s own unique craving for me, different than the traditional and usually very greasy hole-in-the-wall type burrito.
Needless to say, I eat a lot of burritos.
This past week I tried Shop House, your Southeast Asian concept. Personally, I love the bold flavors and spices in Thai / Vietnamese / Indian cuisine but wonder if the rest of America is ready for them. It has been proven that the demand for spicier foods is growing, especially among Millennials. My kale and corn toppings had a nice kick to them and I added the spicy red curry for good measure, bringing it to a solid 7/10 on my spice chart.
I enjoyed Shop House and hope it makes an expansion to Texas soon. Will it be the next Chipotle? I have my doubts. I think the flavors are still too unfamiliar to most Americans. There are too many who still believe that Taco Bell is Mexican food and Panda Express is Chinese. But a concept like Shop House could be a nice stepping stone into a whole new arena of flavor for people.
Until my next burrito,
Thanks for being such a huge fan of Chipotle, and now ShopHouse! I hope you don’t mind that I respond on Steve’s behalf. He is currently out of the office and he wanted to be sure you heard from us before his schedule would allow. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we don’t have any current plans for a ShopHouse in Texas. We are working on slowly expanding, making sure people are ready for the deliciousness before we arrive. I’ll definitely take note of your suggestion, though, to keep in mind for the future.
It is interesting that you would mention that people may not be very familiar with the flavors at ShopHouse. That is very similar to some of the comments we heard back when Chipotle was starting out. Although people were familiar with Mexican food, in the early days of Chipotle, people didn’t really associate Chipotle with the usual Mexican flavors. We’re proud to have recreated this with ShopHouse to push people just a little further on what their concept of Southeast Asian food tastes like.
Although it sounds like you won’t be able to stop into a ShopHouse in the near future, we’d love to see you for that burrito sooner rather than later. If you send me your mailing address I’d like to send you a meal-for-two card (to be used in a single visit) so you and a friend can come into Chipotle for a meal, on us. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you soon.
Customer Service Manager
Chipotle Mexican Grill