A chicken burrito, guacamole, bag of tortilla chips and a drink at a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. restaurant in El Segundo, California.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced Tuesday that it plans to accelerate Canadian expansion over the next 12 months.

While the company has restaurants in four countries outside of the United States, it takes longer than its peers to grow its international presence, and its presence only spans two continents. Instead, it has focused on revitalizing its U.S. sales after a string of foodborne disease outbreaks battered its business a few years ago.

To attract customers back, new security measures have been implemented and menu items have been added. Locations with “chipotlanes” were also built, drive-through lanes for digital order pick-up.

The company has more than 2,750 locations worldwide.

The burrito chain will add eight new restaurants, including one with Chipotlane. On March 30th, Chipotle will open its first Canadian restaurant since 2018 in Surrey, British Columbia. The company currently operates 23 Canadian restaurants, most of which are concentrated in and around Vancouver and Toronto.

“We will experiment with different location formats and restaurant designs across the country to measure consumer preferences in different markets,” CFO Jack Hartung said in a statement.

Chipotle’s shares were up 4% in 2021, for a market value of $ 40.6 billion.