The food chain applied for a trademark for “Better Burger” earlier this month, according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“It’s a growth seed idea we are exploring,” said Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold in an email to Bloomberg.
“We have two non-Chipotle growth seeds open now—ShopHouse and Pizzeria Locale—and have noted before that the Chipotle model could be applied to a wide variety of foods,” he said. ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen opened in Washington in 2011 and has expanded to Los Angeles and Chicago. Pizzeria Locale is a fast-casual restaurant that started in Colorado.
Bloomberg said burgers could be potentially profitable for Chipotle, stating that beef prices are decreasing and that Americans are projected to eat more of the meat this year, according to the Department of Agriculture.
If Chipotle launches its burger venture, it’ll go head-to-head with chains like Shake Shack and Five Guys, which already offer similar food services.
Chipotle has more than 2,000 stores nationwide. It gained popularity for its fresh ingredients and giving flexibility to customers with their food orders.
However, the Denver-based company is struggling to recover from a series of food scares like the norovirus, salmonella, and E. coli.
According to CNBC, Wedbush Securities downgraded the restaurant chain’s stock, claiming that the company will not recover the loss in sales until at least 2018.