Chipotle to Launch ‘Sofritas’ in All Southern California Restaurant Locations

Chipotle will bring the popular vegetarian option to Southern California on Monday, June 3

Los Angeles, May 16, 2013 – After testing a new vegetarian menu item called “Sofritas” in seven San Francisco Bay Area restaurants, then expanding into all Northern California locations, Chipotle Mexican Grill will launch Sofritas throughout Southern California on June 3, 2013, making the new menu item available in all California restaurants.

Sofritas, shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices, is made with organic, non-GMO tofu from Oakland, Calif. artisan producer, Hodo Soy. Chipotle expects Sofritas to appeal to vegetarian and vegan customers, as well as those looking for an exciting new taste.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO. “Sofritas is a very different kind of menu item, not just for Chipotle but for any fast food or fast casual restaurant. It was conceived with vegetarians and vegans in mind, but it’s so delicious that we think it will have crossover appeal as well. It’s been well received in the initial test and Northern California market, so we’re expanding throughout the state to give more people the opportunity to try it.”

Chipotle’s tofu supplier, Hodo Soy, is known as an industry leader for its organic, non-GMO tofu and artisanal methods of production. The San Francisco Bay Area company’s mission is to craft the highest quality, best-tasting whole bean tofu and Hodo Soy has become one of the most reputable tofu producers in the country. Their products are currently featured in some of the area’s leading restaurants, as well as farmers’ markets and specialty food stores.

Sofritas is available in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads and can be combined with other signature ingredients, including white or brown cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans or vegetarian black beans, house-made salsas and guacamole, and cheese or sour cream.

Chipotle, already popular with vegetarian customers, tested another vegetarian menu item, Garden Blend, but was never fully satisfied with it and instead began developing Sofritas. Due to the success of the trial run, and the expansion across Northern California, Chipotle is excited to offer Sofritas in all of its California restaurants.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,450 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

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