Chipotle Testing New Bacon Items to Lure Back Customers

Chipotle’s latest idea to woo customers back: Bacon.

The company will test both applewood smoked bacon and nachos in some cities this fall.

Chipotle is working to win customers back after a series of health scares during the past few years — most notably an E.coli outbreak in late 2015 that made 60 customers in 14 states sick.

To get back on track, the company hired a new CEO, developed a new ad campaign and is experimenting with new menu items. It offered avocado tostadas and a classic Mexican chocolate milkshake in its New York City test kitchen in June.

Bacon and nachos performed well in the test kitchen, said Chris Brandt, the company’s chief marketing officer, in a statement on Thursday.

Some Chipotle locations in Orange County, California, will offer bacon starting next month, and nachos will come to stores in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul in October.

Chipotle is also testing new hours and deals.

Through September, some Miami and Dallas restaurants are selling $2 tacos with the purchase of a drink after 8 p.m. Those restaurants are staying open until 11 p.m. In some Philadelphia and Indianapolis stores, customers can add chips and a drink to their meal for $3.

The turnaround appears to be working, although Chipotle suffered a setback last month, when customers got sick at a location in Ohio, sending the stock down 6%.