Chipotle makes quesadillas official menu items — with a catch

By The MixDex Team Article may include affiliate links

Chipotle Mexican Grill has moved one of its most popular “underground menu” items to the official one — the quesadilla.

There’s a catch though — you can only order the item via the chain’s app or website, making it a “digital only” item.

The item, which Chipotle officially calls its “Hand-Crafted Quesadilla” features the chain’s tortilla sandwiching melted Monterey Jack cheese along with a choice of protein, tofu or fajita vegetables.

(Speaking of tortillas, the chain rattled fans by starting to charge for the once free side menu item in October 2020.)

It’s then folded and pressed using a custom designed oven.

The standard order from the chain’s touchless menu comes with the customer’s choice of salsas or sides.

Images released by Chipotle showed the item with its mild salsa, sour cream and guacamole, the latter of which is still an upcharge, according to the online ordering system.

Chipotle notes the item is its first customizable menu offering since salads were introduced 17 years ago (prior to that, core menu items such as its iconic burritos were customizable).

Chipotle is offering free delivery via partner DoorDash for customers ordering the new item as part of a minimum $10 order from March 11 to March 21, 2021.

Restaurants have been experimenting with digital only items for some time — but the ideas appears to have renewed interest lately, likely due to the increase of to go and delivery orders triggered by the pandemic.

Taco Bell is offering a limited time customizable $5 box with 18 combinations that’s only available for ordering via its app for members of its loyalty program.

McDonald’s also offers a $6 meal deal available only via digital platforms.

Taco Bell’s promotion is slightly different from Chipotle’s in that it’s offering existing items at a special price — so customers could still, in theory, order the same items off the regular menu.

Chipotle, meanwhile, may find itself in an interesting situation if customers, accustomed to ordering a quesadilla in store from the “secret” menu, attempt to order it in store.

Chipotle is also a notable entry into the “digital kitchen” trend — opening standalone storefronts with smaller footprints that make food for pickup and delivery only. The chain also has separate lines inside of select existing locations that handle pickup and delivery orders exclusively.