According to an article in USA Today yesterday, “Chipotle Mexican Grill said Wednesday it has applied for a trademark for “Better Burger” as part of a business diversification move to open a burger restaurant chain.” When I saw the news yesterday, I did a Whois search for BetterBurger.com, and the domain name was registered to someone I know.
I reached out to the (now former) owner of the domain name to ask if he had heard the news about Chipotle, and he let me know he had. In fact, he told me “Their law firm clicked Buy now about 30 minutes before their press release went out, right before the markets closed.”
Since the sale was transacted, the Whois has now updated with the new owner’s information. The current registrant is listed as an individual who is President of a law firm (based on the email address used). A look on this firm’s website shows a “Success Story” article about Chipotle, so I would guess the firm acquired the domain name on behalf of Chipotle. I reached out to the registrant by telephone, and he wouldn’t confirm (or deny) that the domain name was acquired on behalf of the restaurant chain.
At the time of publication, the landing page on BetterBurger.com has not yet changed. You can see that it had a buy it now price of $35,000.
This seems like a good deal all around. Paying five figures for a domain name is probably a drop in the bucket for a large company, assuming it was bought on behalf of Chipotle. It also seems like a good price for the seller of this domain name.
Assuming it was acquired for a restaurant brand, it was a good decision to get the domain name at this early stage.