Chipotle brings back its most popular new menu item

is bringing carne asada back to its menu following a half-year hiatus.

Chipotle is bringing carne asada back to its menu following a half-year hiatus.

The marinated steak option, which appeared on Chipotle's menu for about four months starting in September 2019, will once again be available in the United States for a limited time.

Carne asada was so popular with customers that the chain ran out of the menu items. This time around, Chipotle said sourcing the meat "underwent an extensive vetting process to find more suppliers" that it says meet its standards.

Not only was it popular, but it was profitable. Chipotle said in the quarter it was introduced last year that carne asada contributed to a 11% rise in same-store sales. Chipotle also said that more than 10 million customers ordered carne asada in its initial run, and nearly half of those people were first-time guests.

Chipotle hopes to emulate that again following a dismal earnings report in July. The company's sales were hurt by the closures of its dining rooms. Same-store sales in the second quarter fell about 10%, but digital sales exploded higher. The stock is up 45% for the year.

Carne asada is available Tuesday to Rewards members who order online or through the Chipotle app. It will appear on menu boards and on delivery apps beginning September 28. The pricier steak was its first new meat offering since it reintroduced chorizo back in 2018.

Chipotle also said it approved the steak for three popular diets — ketogenic, Paleo and Whole30. The company has been aggressively marketing its new diet-friendly bowls as it looks to attract health-conscious customers. Last year, the company rolled out "Lifestyle Bowls" that are compliant with several diets. It's also currently testing out riced cauliflower at some locations.

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