Chipotle to Open Digital-Only Restaurant
Chipotle Mexican Grill will open its first Chipotle digital-only restaurant called the Chipotle Digital Kitchen. Located just outside of the gates to the military academy in Highland Falls, NY, the restaurant will open Nov. 14 for pick-up and delivery only. The new prototype will allow Chipotle to enter more urban areas that wouldn't support a full-size restaurant and allows for flexibility with future locations.
The Digital Kitchen concept is focused on accelerating the digital business in non-traditional locations. It is unique because it does not include a dining room or front service line and guests must order in advance via Chipotle.com, the Chipotle app or third-party delivery partners. Orders can be picked up from a lobby that is designed to include all of the sounds, smells and kitchen views of a traditional Chipotle restaurant. The Digital Kitchen will also service large catering orders available for pick up in a separate lobby with its own dedicated entry.
"The Digital Kitchen incorporates innovative features that will complement our rapidly growing digital business, while delivering a convenient and frictionless experience for our guests," said Curt Garner, Chief Technology Officer of Chipotle. "With digital sales tripling year over year last quarter, consumers are demanding more digital access than ever before so we're constantly exploring new ways to enhance the experience for our guests."
Chipotle's new design concepts and menu innovation are envisioned at the company's Cultivate Center in Irvine, California. Located minutes from Chipotle's corporate headquarters, the new 22,000 square foot facility features the same natural aesthetic with ecofriendly materials and designs found in Chipotle restaurants.
The Cultivate Center is home to Chipotle's official test kitchen, where its culinary team utilizes real, responsibly sourced ingredients to test recipes and concoct future menu items. The space also includes a production studio for filming commercials and developing creative concepts as well as a room for restaurant training and development. The Cultivate Center includes a consumer research center to allow for focus groups and gathering critical insights.
"The Cultivate Center is a best-in-class space that will allow us to push the boundaries of innovation while delivering on our mission of cultivating a better world," said Tabassum Zalotrawala, Chief Development Officer of Chipotle.