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Chipotle Mexican Grill tests new design for digital age

New, evolved layout intended to support, boost $1B digital business

Chipotle Mexican Grill launched a test of a new restaurant design that it says will better support its digital business. New Chipotle locations in Chicago, Cincinnati and two new units in Phoenix will feature the new, evolved layout. This new design will be applied to three different real estate types: an urban storefront, a standalone unit with a Chipotlane and end cap unit with a Chipotlane.

Two additional, existing stores—in Newport Beach and San Diego—will see a retrofit. Chipotle’s digital business now represents $1B and 18.3 percent of sales as of Q3 2019. In addition, digital sales at the fast-casual chain grew 88 percent year over year in the quarter.

The arrival of new store design will improve customer flow, noted the chain. Also, walk-up windows and digital pick-up portals placed more prominently will ease pick-up for customers and delivery drivers. Newport Beach, Calif.-based Chipotle also expects to create a more efficient and convenient process for its customers as its boosts digital business.

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“By better suiting our restaurants to accommodate the digital business, we’re able to finalize orders more effectively and provide a better overall experience for our guests,” said Curt Garner, Chipotle CTO.

New, evolved Chipotle design creates openness, transparency

A goal of the openness of the new design is to provide more communication and a sense of community. Guests will also have easier access to bottled beverages with built-in, reach-in coolers. Moreoever, executives will review several metrics to determine the test’s success. These evaluation points include customer feedback, transaction counts and the new design’s fit with future menu rollouts, among others.

Chipotle's new design will test in four new restaurants. Chicago, Cincinnati and two Phoenix restaurants will the first to showcase the evolved layout. Photo by Chipotle.
Chipotle’s new design will test in four new restaurants. Chicago, Cincinnati and two Phoenix restaurants will the first to showcase the evolved layout. Photo by Chipotle.

A company statement went on to say, “Open views and front row seating provide direct lines of sight into the kitchen, where crew members hand prepare fresh food with real ingredients every day.”

“Our eco-friendly, natural aesthetic and locally sourced approach to this design builds on our strong brand values and mission of cultivating a better world,” said Tabassum Zalotrawala, Chipotle chief development officer. Chipotle Mexican Grill now operates over 2,500 restaurants and employs 80,000 associates.

Photo credit: Chipotle Mexican Grill

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