The title says it all in this blog post, this prediction, some could say a safe one, is based on nothing but my experience last week. I live in Denver and happened to be grabbing lunch on Evans Ave over by my alma mater the University of Denver. There on Evans Ave is a shrine to big burrito lovers everywhere the original Chipotle store.
One block away, one block closer to campus, is a local Colorado burrito chain, Illegal Pete’s. Illegal Pete’s is a Chipotle clone; they might disagree with that description, but they sell the same size and style burritos that Chipotle made a staple in American cuisine. Illegal Pete’s claim to fame is that they mix up the burrito ingredients before rolling it up.
I agree that this isn’t the greatest picture of the Illegal Pete’s store, but I wasn’t trying to capture the store front I was trying to capture the line out of the door.
Something that you can’t know from these photos, you would only know if you had eaten in these restaurants is that the original Chipotle is small. The distance from the door to the counter is maybe 15 feet. It seats maybe 30 people. As an example of how small this restaurant is, they have a storage room in their basement and a trap door in the floor that they raise to go down and get dry storage items.
In contrast, the Illegal Pete’s is much bigger the line area is two or three times bigger than that of the Chipotle, and it has a full bar.
I’ve lived in the University of Denver area for about nine years total in my life. I’ve eaten at both these restaurants countless times. In my experience before the Chipotle issues last year, I never saw the Illegal Pete’s that much busier than the Chipotle. As I said before this isn’t a scientific study of guest counts or sales, this is just my experience.
I love Chipotle; they are a Colorado restaurant company success story, so is Illegal Pete’s. I want Chipotle to get better and get back to where they were. I would be surprised if their sales have gone up all that much since last quarter. I like the rest of the industry are curious how long it will take them to get back to where they were.
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