Chipotle Doubles Down on Digital-Only Restaurant

Chipotle is opening another digital-only restaurant concept later this month, ushering in a new look for drive-thru.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman
chipotle
Chipotle’s latest digital-only restaurant prototype offers a Chipotlane and walk-up window for efficient digital order pickup.

Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to open its first Chipotlane Digital Kitchen restaurant in Ohio later this month.

The new prototype offers a Chipotlane and walk-up window for efficient digital order pickup, but the Chipotlane Digital Kitchen footprint is smaller than a traditional Chipotlane, with no dining room access for guests or a front line. 

Since launching in early 2018, the Chipotlane format continues to demonstrate strong performance for the QSR. New restaurants featuring a Chipotlane open with approximately 15% higher sales compared to non-Chipotlanes opened during the same period. 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.

Chipotle opened its first-ever digital-only restaurant in late 2020, Chipotle Digital Kitchen in Highland Falls, NY, which offered pickup and delivery.

[See more: Is Chipotle’s Digital Restaurant the New Look of Retail?]

The Chipotlane Digital Kitchen is equipped with a make line dedicated to digital orders placed through the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com, as well as marketplace partners. Customers 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.

"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."

The first Chipotlane Digital Kitchen restaurant is located at 994 Graham Road in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.

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