Chipotle started out as a single burrito shop in Denver before it stole the fast-food stage from McDonald’s. The Mexican chain is the face of the so-called fast casual movement that offers healthier fare and more customized options in a flash. Now smaller rivals are taking aim at the industry’s biggest star. Here’s a look at five players that are hoping to break out like Chipotle.
Sweetgreen is essentially a salad bar on steroids.Along with fresh and affordable salads, it serves soup, rice bowls and grain bowls all for around $10. The chain also lives up to its “green” name — sustainable packaging, locally sourced ingredients and organic products. And like Chipotle, it has earned a reputation for lines out the door at lunchtime.
The Washington DC-based eatery has expanded to 31 locations ranging from California to New York since it opened in 2007, and it has the potential to grow even more, according Real Food Consulting President Ed Doyle said.
“We do not believe that this concept is enough of a difference to have a long and sustainable mass-market appeal,” restaurant consultant Jason Kaplan told The Post.