Chipotle Opens Its First Digital-Only Restaurant
- by Lilian Diep
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - Innovation is always at the forefront of this industry. For Chipotle Mexican Grill, that innovation has come to fruition. The foodservice operator recently announced its first-ever Chipotle digital-only restaurant called the Chipotle Digital Kitchen, located in Highland Falls, New York.
“The Digital Kitchen incorporates innovative features that will complement our rapidly growing digital business while delivering a convenient and frictionless experience for our guests,” said Curt Garner, Chief Technology Officer. “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.”
Chipotle’s new restaurant prototype is open for pick-up and delivery only. According to the press release, this pilot will allow Chipotle to enter more urban areas that wouldn’t support a full-size restaurant, allowing for flexibility with future locations. The Digital Kitchen concept is focused on accelerating the digital business in non-traditional locations. It is unique because it does not include a dining room or front service line and guests must order in advance via Chipotle.com, the Chipotle app, or third-party delivery partners.
Inventive ideas like these, as well as design concepts and menu innovations, are fostered through the company’s new 22,000-square-foot Cultivate Center facility in Irvine, California. As noted in the release, the Cultivate Center is home to Chipotle's official test kitchen, where its culinary team utilizes real, responsibly sourced ingredients to test recipes and concoct future menu items.
“The Cultivate Center is a best-in-class space that will allow us to push the boundaries of innovation while delivering on our mission of cultivating a better world,” said Tabassum Zalotrawala, Chief Development Officer.
Orders can be picked up from a lobby that is designed to include all of the sounds, smells, and kitchen views of a traditional Chipotle restaurant. The Digital Kitchen will also service large catering orders available for pick up in a separate lobby with its own dedicated entry.
Fresh and innovative ideas continue to dominate our industry. Who will be next to push the proverbial doors open? ANUK will report, so keep checking back for the latest updates.