Help is on the way to the burrito chain.

Chipotle Mexican Grill marks the start The new era, led by Taco Bell's former CEO, brought promising profits and increased hopes that it has finally overcome its countless problems.

During the first quarter of the Chipotle earnings on Wednesday, new CEO Brian Niccol has peppered his team's comments with an emphasis on digital innovations, interesting new menu items, the need to attract young guests, ways to improve marketing and ensure that customers feel that they are getting a good value.

"It's a story of recovery, and where that recovery is taking us is really exciting," he said during the call for Wall Street analysts. "There are real opportunities for us to make simple hubs in order to increase the appeal of our brand to those who are already very big fans."

During the Wednesday visit, Niccolo said it was important to like guests, what makes Chipotle Special, including its healthy diet and fast service.

"We will find some singles on the way to homeruns," he said. "What we see is a real chance to make the brand more visible."

Niccol briefly mentioned the opportunity to expand into Breakfast and Drive-Thrus, as well as the importance of expanding mobile ordering and delivery capabilities. He repeatedly emphasized the importance of testing what may have been an allusion to Chipotle's staggering release of his long-awaited queso in 2017. The sauce fell flat and the recipe had to be changed.

"Every age group loves Chipotle and we exaggerate with young people," said Niccol. "This brand is a youthful spirit, a challenger."

But the challenge facing the challenger is concern for food safety, even though the famous multi-state outbreak of E. coli occurred back in 2015. Last year, there was a norovirus outbreak from its Virginia sites, rodent sightings in Dallas, and reports of sick workers and customers in a Los Angeles restaurant.

Niccol is well known for Taco Bell's turnaround, which was driven by mobile ordering and payment, clever marketing to a young, cool crowd and new menu items, especially the outing of the chain in breakfast.

Taco Bell is owned by Yum! Brands, whose portfolio includes KFC and Pizza Hut

Chipotle was once a Wall Street favorite and has been raging for several years.

In February, the Denver-based chain announced plans to open 130 to 150 new restaurants, launch a loyalty program and spend $ 50 million – or $ 20,000 on average – to set up its restaurants in 2018.

At the end of February, Chipotle closed his only burger restaurant, Tasty Made. The attempt to break into a new food genre ended less than a year and a half after opening the Lancaster, Ohio site. The only burger chips shakes outpost was not even fueled by the hiring of Richard Blais, winner of "Top Chef All-Stars" from Bravo TV and a James Beard-nominated cookbook author.

Niccol, who took over last month, replaces the founder of Chiptole, Steve Ells, who is now the executive chairman of the chain, and the new CEO had good financial news to report.

Chipotle reported earnings of $ 2.13 per share on revenues of $ 1.148 billion, compared to Thomson Reuters. I / B / E / S forecasts $ 1.57 per share in revenue 1.147 billion dollars Turnover at Chipotle locations is open for at least a year – an industry key figure that takes into account the growth of each unit%

And the stock jumped about 10% in after-market trading.

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Chipotle's shares closed at $ 339.67, or $ 6.57 higher 1.97%, on Wednesday


In a true high-low mashup, legendary fashion designer Marc Jacobs dropped to his knees on Wednesday night at a New York chipotle and proposed a proposal to his friend Char Defrancesco.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

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