Fueled by innovation and a desire for sustainable growth, Chipotle Mexican Grill is putting its ingenuity forward with the rollout of a new format. Recently, the foodservice operator announced its first-ever 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. This pilot will open Chipotle to a new frontier of more urban areas that usually don’t support a full-size restaurant, allowing for flexibility with future locations.
According to the press release, the Digital Kitchen concept was imagined with a focus 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. The Cultivate Center is home to Chipotle’s official test kitchen. As noted in the press release, the new facility is 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.
Pushing the envelope of innovation is built into our industry. As to who will burst through that barrier next, Deli Market News will report.