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Chipotle opens store in Surrey, BC, speeds up Canadian expansion

Store count in Canada to increase by 35% over next 12 months

Chipotle will ramp up expansion in Canada as it readies opening a new restaurant in Surrey, British Columbia. Chipotle’s last Canadian unit opened in Markham. Ontario more than two years ago. The new Surrey location will debut March 30, 2021.

In the US, Newport Beach, Calif.-based fast casual has accelerated openings of its Chipotlanes—order-ahead drive-thrus —that were included in 62% of new stores developed last year. Now, Chipotle’s expansion in Canada will lead to the first Chipotlane in the country—in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Chipotlanes can create a better guest experience with onsite times of less than a minute.

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After the Surrey and Port Coquitlam openings, the Mexican-style, quick-serve chain will add eight new restaurants in Canada over the next 12 months, all of which will open in British Columbia and Ontario. Currently, Toronto, Metro Vancouver, as well as Ottawa and London, Ontario are territories that are home to Chipotle’s 23 existing Canadian stores.

Jack Hartung, Chipotle chief financial officer, noted, “We will be experimenting with different location formats and restaurant designs throughout the country to gauge consumer preferences in the various markets.”

[Chipotle reports Q4 fiscal 2020 results]

Executives expect Chipotle’s mission of providing real, sustainable food and easy digital access to ordering, coupled with ongoing menu innovation, will drive increased appetite for its offerings in the US’ northern ally country.

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Canada has benefited from new menu additions, including the Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, released in January to stores there. In March, it was also part of a dual-country release of the digital-only Hand-Crafted Quesadilla.

“Given the rising popularity of Chipotle’s real food in Canada, we believe there is a massive growth opportunity in this international market,” said Anat Davidzon, managing director – Canada, Chipotle.

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