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Chipotle adds smoked brisket to its menu for a limited time

The Mexican food chain says its new beef protein option, which is seasoned with a blend of spices and a Mexican pepper sauce, is already being tested at 64 restaurants in Cincinnati and Sacramento, California.

It's the latest comprehensive taste test for Chipotle (CMG), which added carne asada and queso blanco to its full menu earlier this year after those items successfully completed the company's menu pilot process last year.

The length of the smoked brisket pilot will depend on how well it performs with customers, a Chipotle spokesperson said.

Other menu options Chipotle is testing include its cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, which is available in some parts of Colorado and Wisconsin. The company is also testing digital orders for quesadillas in Cleveland and Indianapolis after introducing them as a dine-in and carryout option in New York City in 2018.

Chipotle, like many restaurant chains, is adapting its business to shifting customer demands. About half of the company's third-quarter sales were completed on its app or website — a digital shift accelerated by the pandemic. Earlier this month, Chipotle opened its first "digital-only" restaurant in Highland Falls, New York, in which the traditional dining area is gone and orders can be placed only through the company's app, website or third-party apps such as Uber Eats.

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