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Chipotle changes its strategy with store closures and a new menu

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) is all set to make some much-needed strategic changes. These include store closures, a menu revamp and acceleration of digital sales. The fast-food chain, which has struggled a lot recently over food safety issues, is trying to get back on track by focusing on some of the most important things.

To begin with, Chipotle has decided to close around 65 locations which are not profitable. Around half of these closures will take place over the next month and the remaining over the coming quarters. The company has not disclosed which of its locations will be shuttered.

Chipotle has faced flak over its menu that has for long remained unchanged. Now the fast-casual chain is looking to revamp its offerings and is said to be experimenting with new and innovative products which it expects to roll out soon.

While Chipotle was getting battered over food poisoning outbreaks, its competitors took full advantage of the situation and increased their sales through smart promotions and menu offerings. Despite the blow to its reputation, Chipotle is trying hard to win back its customers through improved menu choices and clever marketing. The restaurant chain plans to launch a loyalty program next year.

An important part of Chipotle’s strategy is to increase its digital sales. More and more restaurant chains are working on increasing their efficiency in food order and delivery through mobile and other digital channels. Chipotle plans to add the option of food delivery through its app to around 2,000 of its restaurants by the end of 2018.

Chipotle is currently paying more attention to its growth in the US and has not revealed any specific details about its plans for the international operations. The restructuring measures that Chipotle is undertaking is likely to increase its expenditures by over $130 million. Wall Street has its eyes on CEO Brian Niccol, who they believe is capable of bringing meaningful change to Chipotle, while Niccol has ambitions for the company to hit $10 billion in revenue at some point in the future.

Related: Will CEO Niccol usher in a new chapter for Chipotle?

According to reports by Thomson Reuters, Chipotle’s retail sales are expected to grow by 8.4% this year. Shares dropped more than 8% during the morning trade due to fewer-than-expected details regarding the company’s growth strategy.

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