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Happy with the success of its Chipotle franchise at a time when the overall company is experiencing its first quarterly loss ever, McDonald’s Corp. has decided to double expansion plans for the Mexican food concept, spreading into New York, Atlanta and Seattle.

Chipotle now has 233 stores in 11 states and about 5,000 employees.

"We saw it as an exciting concept, something special and unique," McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa Howard said. "It's burritos and tacos with gourmet ingredients in a hip, energetic environment."
KC's View:
The company also saw sales of about $145 million that were growing…as opposed to what seems to be happening in its traditional hamburger joints. That’s a small percentage of the company’s overall sales (less than one percent), but the trend is encouraging.

There will be some who will say that expanding Chipotle will distract the company from focusing on its signature restaurants, but we think this is foolishness. We believe that not only can McDonald’s work on improving its hamburger restaurants at the same time it expands Chipotle and other alternative concepts, but that it must if the company is to survive.

We just noticed yesterday that the Boston Market -- also owned by Mickey D’s -- in the building next door to our office has been closed. We’d suggest that this would be an ideal location for a Chipotle…