Advertisement
12/20/2021

Chipotle Prepares to Open Digital Kitchen Restaurant

Bye-bye dining room. The new format will exclusively fulfill digital orders for pickup or delivery.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
Anna Wolfe  profile picture
Image
Chipotle exterior of the new digital kitchen prototype
Chipotle's Chipotlane Digital Kitchen is designed with the off-prem customer in mind.

Chipotle will open its first Chipotlane Digital Kitchen restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, later this month. The new prototype offers a Chipotlane and walk-up window for efficient digital order pickup. 

Bye-Bye, Dining Room

The Chipotlane Digital Kitchen footprint is smaller than a traditional Chipotlane, with no dining room access for guests or a front line. The kitchen is equipped with a make line dedicated to digital orders placed through the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com, as well as marketplace partners. Guests and delivery drivers can collect their digital orders through the Chipotlane drive-thru or walk-up window. The new restaurant will also offer patio seating for guests to enjoy their meals.

[75% of consumers prefer to order delivery direct from the restaurant, according to HT's 2021 Customer Engagement Technology Study.]

"Chipotlanes are a key growth strategy for the brand," said Tabassum Zalotrawala, Chief Development Officer, Chipotle. "Our portfolio of approximately 300 Chipotlanes perform with the highest margins across the board, so we continue to evolve our restaurant design with formats such as the Chipotlane Digital Kitchen to best suit our growing digital business."

A Winning Combination

Since launching in early 2018, the Chipotlane format continues to enhance access, ease and satisfaction for guests while demonstrating strong performance. The concept quickly gained steam; Chipotle opened its 100th Drive-Thru in 2020.

New restaurants featuring a Chipotlane open with approximately 15% higher sales compared to non-Chipotlanes opened during the same period.

With nearly 3,000 restaurants today and a long-term goal of having 6,000 locations in North America, Chipotle is continuing to learn and refine its approach to accelerate its Chipotlane portfolio judiciously. To date, Chipotle has reconfigured 12 of its existing restaurants to feature the digital order pickup lane, with these locations seeing an increase in sales as more customers choose this convenient access channel.

[The restaurant provides personalized communication based on purchase history is important to 32% of customers, according to HT's 2021 Customer Engagement Technology Study]