US fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill is set to make its debut in the UK next year.
The group, which champions the concept of ‘food with integrity', plans to open its first UK outlet on London's Charing Cross Road in April and is seeking more suitable sites in the capital as well as in Paris and Munich.
Chipotle, which has grown to more than 900 US stores since its 1993 launch by chairman and co-chief executive Steve Ells, is committed to using sustainably-sourced ingredients, including humanely-reared meat, local and organic produce, and milk that is free of synthetic hormones.
The group's stores all have individually-designed interiors that are linked by their use of Mayan-inspired art by sculptor Bruce Gueswel.
As customers specify exactly what goes into their meals, Chipotle's menu of burritos, burrito bowls (burrito without tortillas), tacos and salads provides more than 60,000 possible combinations.
Ells said the group was very encouraged by the prospects for it in the UK
"London has become an important food city over the years, especially because of the awareness of and desire for things like locally sourced, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients," he said.
"These are all core values of Chipotle and we have been instrumental in bringing this kind of thinking to fast food in the US."
He added: "In many ways, the food culture in Europe matches our priorities much more closely than in the US."
By Angela Frewin
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