In 1998, the state of Colorado claimed all 16 Chipotles in existence. That year, McDonald’s became an investor in the franchise, leading to a dramatic surge in the brand’s awareness and availability. By 2017, Chipotle Mexican Grill had 2,250 franchises in operation, with revenue in excess of $3.9 billion. Its numbers peaked in 2015, however, and the business seems like it’s in strong decline as health-conscious consumers search for better options.
Chipotle Mexican Grill undeniably offers strong, spicy flavors that have persuaded a slew of loyalists to eat here several times each week. When you eat here, you’re going to get a full meal that may give you the meat sweats afterward. Consumer Reports raves about the flavors available, giving the fast food chain a remarkable score of 83 out of 100. That’s the best grade for any major Mexican franchise in the country and reflects the underlying quality of the menu.
- Chips & Salsa – I’m a traditionalist. I know that the guac and queso are both popular, but Chipotle’s sauce is almost hypnotic. Dipped chips magically disappear in my mouth.
- Burrito Bowl – This dish changed everything for Chipotle. It’s a burrito without the wrap, and customers are zealous about the available flavors. Choose barbacoa, black beans, and a side of tomatillo green-chili salsa to perfect the order.
- Crispy Corn Steak Tacos – The hearty meats used in Chipotle’s tacos are savory and lingering. I favor the steak due to its crispy texture and rich depth of flavor. For fast food steak, it’s extremely tasty.
- Sofritas Burrito – The official website markets this as “delectable for both real and accidental vegetarians.” I can’t say it any better, as I’m a carnivore by nature, but I love this bean paste burrito.
The restaurant chain scores high marks in all major categories such as speed of service, employee friendliness, and value. Most burritos and bowls here are less than $10, and the tacos are even cheaper. Chipotle is also beloved for the quality of its ingredients, a key component in its business model. When you eat here, you’re privy to the finest Mexican flavors this side of the border, at least in a fast food setting. Despite the other positives, the quick rise of Chipotle is due almost exclusively to its taste.
The Sevierville location is the only one in the area, and its reviews are comparable to the rest of the chain. The one caveat is that this particular franchise has some questionable reviews in the areas of cleanliness and service during peak periods.
- Chipotle is often a participant in student coupon books. When you support a school by buying one of these books, you can save money or get free food. You should save the complimentary food offers for tourist destinations such as Sevierville to maximize the value.
- Many social media sites offer buy one, get one free discounts at Chipotle. These are ordinarily printable coupons, but you can also simply show your phone to the cashier to take advantage of the deal.
- The Chipotle app has several discounts available. When you sign up, you also receive a coupon for your choice of Chips & Guac or Chips & Queso. These deals automatically load on your smart device, making them easy to access.