Chipotle Signs First-Ever Franchise Agreement

The QSR expanded internationally with a partnership in the Middle East.

July 19, 2023

Chipotle has signed off on international expansion by partnering with the franchise operator Alshaya Group. This is the first franchise agreement for the company. The first two new locations will open in Dubai and Kuwait next year before branching out into the region further.

"Leveraging Alshaya's market expertise will enable us to quickly gain access to these vibrant economies," said Chipotle Chairman and Chief Executive Officer  Brian Niccol. "We are excited to offer guests in the Middle East our responsibly sourced, classically-cooked real food, and look forward to furthering our purpose to cultivate a better world in this new territory."

According to Chipotle’s press release, Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of Alshaya Group said: "In announcing this exclusive partnership across the Middle East, we are proud to be Chipotle's first and only franchise partner, as we continue to enhance our portfolio by bringing world-leading brands to our customers across our markets."

The current international footprint—all of which are company owned and operated—of the QSR is 34 locations in Canada, 15 in the UK (with three more coming this summer), six stores in France and two in Germany. There are 3,200 stores in the United States.

In April, Chipotle announced plans for an ambitious all-electric restaurant that uses 100% renewable energy.