- Chipotle will add a Fajita Quesadilla to its digital-only menu starting Thursday, the company announced Monday.
- Guests can order a quesadilla with Monterey Jack cheese, protein and fajita vegetables on its app or via Chipotle.com.
- Chipotle added this new menu following a viral TikTok menu hack video from creators Keith Lee and Alexis Frost.
The company originally introduced the quesadilla as a permanent digital menu item in March 2021, which helped drive increased check size and transactions, CEO Brian Niccol said during the company’s 2021 year-end earnings call. At the time, this was the first customizable entree menu item added since the chain introduced salads 17 years prior. Quesadillas were previously only available by request or on its kids’ menu.
The quesadilla with fajita vegetables recipe first became popular in late 2022 after Frost reviewed the item on TikTok for her 2.4 million followers. Lee later stitched this TikTok with a video of himself making a do-it-yourself chipotle-honey vinaigrette using sour cream and the vinaigrette. TikToks featuring the viral hack captured 30.6 million views, 3.7 million likes, 47,200 comments and 69,500 shares in the week after the initial videos were posted.
"TikTok has not only changed the way we communicate with Gen-Z, but it's proven it can identify areas of opportunity within our business," Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s CMO, said in a statement.
The growing popularity of this menu hack initially created challenges for Chipotle’s employees, since it wasn’t an official menu item on its digital channels. In order to add the Fajita Quesadilla to its online menu, the company executed tech updates at about 3,200 restaurants and trained over 100,000 employees, the company said.
The Fajita Quesadillas come with three side options, including the chipotle-honey vinaigrette starting Thursday. The company is also adding Lee and Frost’s specific quesadilla orders to digital menus for a limited time. The Keithadilla comes with roasted chili-corn salsa, sour cream and chipotle-honey vinaigrette, and Frost’s “Fajita Quesadilla Hack,” comes with roasted chili-corn salsa, tomatillo red-chili salsa and sour cream.
Chipotle wrote in an email to Restaurant Dive that it doesn’t plan to remove the Fajita Quesadilla from the menu any time soon. The menu item costs the same as the regular quesadilla, with prices ranging from $9.50 to $11.25 depending on protein choice and restaurant location, the company said.
Digital-only menu items have become increasingly popular among various chains, especially as a way to attract new customers and build loyalty. Dunkin’ launched a Brownie Batter Signature Latte exclusively for to its rewards members in February. Noodles & Company offered Tortelloni, a stuffed pasta similar to tortellini, exclusively to rewards members in 2021. Burger chain Pincho created a hidden menu for its highest spending rewards customers last year.