Chipotle has begun testing on a new design of its restaurants, the company announced recently. The move is designed to support Chipotle’s increasing digital business, which it says has reached $1 billion.


Four new restaurants – one in Chicago, one in Cincinnati and two in Phoenix – and two existing locations – in Newport Beach and San Diego – will be used for the testing. These location types include an urban storefront, a standalone restaurant with a “Chipotlane,” the chain’s drive-through lane for digital orders, and an endcap with a Chipotlane.


The new design, which aims to enhance convenience for customers and delivery drivers, will feature walkup windows and better placement of digital pick-up portals.


“By better suiting our restaurants to accommodate the digital business, we’re able to finalize orders more effectively and provide a better overall experience for our guests,” Curt Garner, Chief Technology Officer for Chipotle, said in a release.


The new design also will feature seating with direct views into the kitchen. This openness will “aim to increase communication and foster a sense of community with the restaurants.”


Chipotle says it will use different metrics from these restaurants, including transactions, guest feedback, and others, to decide which design it will roll out nationally.


“While we are staying true to Chipotle's heritage, we are also excited to integrate new, innovative physical features into the restaurant that complement our growing digital business,” Tabassum Zalotrawala, Chief Development Officer of Chipotle, said in the release. “Our eco-friendly, natural aesthetic and locally sourced approach to this design builds on our strong brand values and mission of cultivating a better world.”


Chipotle, which operates more than 2,500 restaurants in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, has more than 80,000 employees.

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