Chipotle Mexican Grill has expanded its global footprint by opening a new restaurant in Kuwait City, marking the brand’s first venture into a new country in over a decade.

The new restaurant was opened by partnering with international franchise retail operator Alshaya Group.

Alshaya Group CEO John Hadden said: “Consumers have long awaited Chipotle’s arrival here in the Middle East and the feedback we’ve received so far has confirmed that we’re delivering the same delicious culinary experience that guests have had in their US locations.

“We’re proud to have introduced this popular American restaurant to Kuwait and we’re looking forward to Dubai later this year, as the first locations in our exclusive partnership with Chipotle.”

The new restaurant is situated in The Avenues, one of the largest shopping malls in Kuwait.

The venue features Chipotle’s latest design format, which includes innovative elements such as wood tile flooring, corten art walls, and new wall finishes.

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To cater to new customers, the outlet offers three ordering methods: traditional front makeline, a kiosk system for pick-up orders, and QR codes on tables for mobile app downloads.

The digital integration extends to exclusive menu items, with guests able to order quesadillas through the kiosk or the Alshaya Chipotle mobile app.

In July 2023, Chipotle entered into a development agreement with Alshaya Group, with plans to inaugurate the first Dubai location later this year.

The partnership was a significant step in Chipotle’s international expansion, which currently includes 41 locations in Canada, 19 in the UK, six in France, and two in Germany.

With more than 3,400 restaurants in North America, Chipotle aims for an 8% to 10% annual growth rate, focusing on locations that feature a Chipotlane, a drive-through pick-up lane, for at least 80% of new openings.

Chipotle Mexican Grill chief business development officer Nate Lawton said: “In partnership with Alshaya Group, we worked tirelessly to ensure that we delivered an exceptional first impression in Kuwait with our freshly prepared menu of real ingredients and we are encouraged by the early results.

“Together, we’ll continue to gather insights on regional preferences and adapt accordingly as we grow our presence in the region and expand upon our mission to Cultivate a Better World.”