Chipotle Opening First Digital-Only Restaurant | Financial Buzz

Chipotle Opening First Digital-Only Restaurant

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) is ready to launch its first digital-only restaurant on Saturday, the Chipotle Digital Kitchen. Customers will need to order via the Chipotle app, website or third-party delivery platform as the location will not include a dining room or a line to order.

The new location will open in Highland Falls, N.Y., and despite the major changes, the Chipotle experience will be very much present through sounds, smells and kitchen views. As real estate increases, the new restaurant design will be targeted at urban areas where the cost of a restaurant is higher. Furthermore, the new operation is expected to ramp up the digital business within non-traditional locations. 

“The Digital Kitchen incorporates innovative features that will complement our rapidly growing digital business, while delivering a convenient and frictionless experience for our guests,” Chief Technology Officer of Chipotle Curt Garner said in a statement. “With digital sales tripling year-over-year last quarter, consumers are demanding more digital access than ever before so we’re constantly exploring new ways to enhance the experience for our guests.”

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, customers have been more inclined to order online. According to the company, within the third quarter digital sales more than tripled, exceeding USD2.5 Billion in 2020, double last year’s amount.

Shares have risen 67% this year and the company currently has a market value of USD34.8 Billion.

“We absolutely plan to open more digital kitchens and are carefully evaluating the best trade areas for Chipotle in which to expand this test,” Chipotle’s Global Chief Development Officer Tabassum Zalotrawala said in a statement. “Future locations will be areas where Chipotle has a higher volume of sales through digital business.”

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