Chipotle is no longer king of burritos and rice bowls. In an annual survey conducted by Harris Poll, it found that Moe's Southwest Grill, a Tex-Mex chain, has the people's vote for brand of the year, when it comes to fast casual Mexican restaurants. What's even more surprising is that Chipotle now ranks behind Taco bell, Qdoba, and Baja Fresh. Chipotle's unpopularity may be due to its E. coli and norovirus outbreak earlier this year. These food-safety incidents took a toll on the brand, which had built its platform on fresh and healthy food.
In addition, for customers who are looking for more variety in their foods, places like Taco Bell and Moe's are offering wider selections, while Chipotle's menu has relatively remained the same. Taco Bell began selling alcohol in some restaurants, and Moe's not only offers queso, but also has limited-time menu additions like an ancho chili lime rice bowl and ghost pepper salsas. Perhaps it's time for Chipotle to step up its game.