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Food Service Industry Updates

This New Chipotle Doesn’t Have a Dining Room


What do you get when you cross burritos with digital technology?

The Chipotle Digital Kitchen, a “restaurant” that does not have a dining room or front service line and orders must be made in advance.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is opening its first Chipotle Digital Kitchen on Nov. 14 in Highland Falls, N.Y., for pickup and delivery only

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company said the new prototype will allow Chipotle to enter more urban areas that wouldn’t support a full-size restaurant and also allow for flexibility with future locations.  

The Digital Kitchen concept is focused on accelerating the digital business in non-traditional locations, according to Chipotle. 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. 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 pickup in a separate lobby with its own dedicated entry.

“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 of Chipotle. “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 design concepts and menu innovation are envisioned at the company’s Cultivate Center in Irvine, Calif., near Chipotle’s corporate headquarters.

“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 of Chipotle.

Chipotle operates more than 2,700 restaurants in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.