Chipotle Mexican Grill, already enjoying a rise in revenues, will ride the digital wave to drive profits even further. The popular eatery will open its first digital-only restaurant on Saturday.
Among the highlights: No dining room or a line for ordering; customers order in advance on Chipotle’s site, its app or a group delivery platform; large catering orders have their own entry and lobby for pick-up. The first location will open in Highland, N.Y., near West Point.
The 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.”
Chipotle’s Global Chief Development Officer Tabassum Zalotrawala said the company’s sales in the digital domain grew 202.5% year-over-year to $776.4 million, and represented 48.8% of sales last quarter. The timing for expanding the company’s digital strategy earlier this year played a big role in improving the numbers.
“Fortunately, what we did prior to the pandemic was we invested heavily into the digital accessibility for our customers—whether it’s the app or the website,” Chipotle Chairman and CEO Brian Niccol told Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto. Niccol said that total digital orders could exceed $2.5 billion this year, more than double last year’s total.
Chipotle is not alone in dealing with the effects on customer behavior during the pandemic. Like many food companies, Burger King and Shake Shack plan to add drive-thru lanes for delivery drivers or online orders, and Starbucks is planning for more mobile pickup cafes.
Shares of Chipotle, which has a market value of $34.8 billion, have risen 67% so far this year.