The fast-food restaurant chain will redesign several restaurants to align with growing online sales.
New technologies are bringing changes to the established ways of organizing restaurants. American chain Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that growing online sales have led to the need to review the design of existing restaurants and adapt it to new realities.
Restaurants in Chicago, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Newport Beach and San Diego will take part in testing the new formats. New design features will include windows for ordering, without the need for customers to go inside the restaurant, and different ways to arrange seating. In addition, the company will continue to experiment with special shelves from which customers can pick up ordered food and "chipotlanes" - dedicated driveways for receiving orders from passing cars.
Chipotle experts will evaluate each test option based on sales volume, consumer feedback, and the ability of an individual restaurant to change the menu flexibly. And then it will be decided which option will be accepted for all American restaurants of the chain.
Chipotle's online sales grew by 87.9% in fiscal third quarter 2019 alone, nearly a fifth of total sales, according to the company. To support this growth, physical restaurants will also inevitably change and introduce innovative features and design solutions.
This is not Chipotle's first step in expanding its digital business. Since 2016, all restaurants of the network began to be equipped with separate lines in the kitchen that served online orders, and in 2019 this process was completed. And by 2020, it is planned to open about 150-165 new restaurants, and half of them will initially be equipped with chipolines.