Five months after Chipotle said it would stop investing in the growth and development of its Asian-inspired ShopHouse Kitchen chain, the company announced plans to close all 15 locations, essentially abandoning the brand.
The Nation’s Restaurant News reports that Chipotle will close the doors of the 15 restaurants by March 17.
Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold says the company reached a deal to sell the leases for the stores, meaning it was the right time to close shop.
Employees at the restaurants will be offered jobs are nearby Chipotle locations and will be paid an additional week beyond the closing, Arnold said.
ShopHouse, which launched in 2011, operated stores in California, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
The chain’s trouble came to the forefront back in October, when Chipotle — still reeling from its public bouts of food borne illness — announced it would dedicate resources to cultivate its efforts.
Chipotle said during an earnings call at the time that ShopHouse didn’t demonstrate the ability to support “an attractive unit economic model.”
“As a result, we have decided not to invest further in developing or growing the ShopHouse brand and will pursue strategic alternatives,” Co-CEO and founder Steve Ells said at the time.