Chipotle is adding a dessert to the menu and it’s not churros


The third-ever addition to the Chipotle menu is buñuelos, a Mexican dessert of fried tortilla with honey, cinnamon and sugar.

Buñuelos at Chipotle will be served with apple caramel butter dipping sauce and mark the latest effort from the fast casual chain to build on recent positive momentum after years of post-E. coli struggle.

Speaking on an earnings conference call, Chipotle reported the first positive growth since the restaurant company was kneecapped in late 2015 by repeat E. coli outbreaks across 14 states. The company invested in marketing and offered promotions ever since.

When Chipotle announced their intention to get into the dessert game, most people assumed it would be with churros. Instead they went with another Central and South American delicacy. Buñuelos are doughy and deep fried, generously coated in cinnamon and sugar. They can also be covered with syrups or paired with Mexican hot chocolate. Chipotle will serve buñuelos with an apple caramel butter dipping sauce.

Buñuelos vary by country and even family – everyone’s mom or grandma has her own recipe. Sometimes it’s not even a recipe, just muscle memory. Writing for Bon Appetit, Rick Martinez says:

"It’s all about the dough—how it feels, how it looks, and how it stretches. It’s soft, slightly sticky, and not too elastic. Don’t overwork it or you’ll end up with something that resembles a fried cracker. It fries quickly and wants to puff up—but don’t let it or it won’t cook evenly."

Which is to say, Chipotle is going to have their work cut out for them to compete with home cooking. But then again, no one really goes to Chipotle for authenticity anyways.

The fast casual food chain said that they will not need to install any new equipment to add buñuelos to the menu and locations offering the dessert will only need to acquire the new ingredients. The company expects to start selling buñuelos in restaurants in late May.

Buñuelos will be only the third addition of any kind to the Chipotle menu in the restaurant chain’s 20 year history. The company introduced tofu sofritas in 2014 and, in October 2016, chorizo, which, #neverforget, is meat.

Back to buñuelos. The dessert is an exciting and hopefully delicious indication of things to come. On the conference call, Chipotle suggested that expanding and innovating the menu will become a regular occurrence as the customer restoration crusade continues.