People obviously still wait in line for Chipotle, but more and more are heading online to order ahead. According to the chain, its digital sales are way up, so an evolved design is being tested in four new restaurants - two of which have a walk-up window called a "Chipotlane."
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Chipotle hasn't disclosed exactly which restaurant types will be where, but customers can expect an urban storefront, standalone restaurant with a Chipotlane and end cap unit with a Chipotlane in Chicago, Cincinnati and two locations in Phoenix. The new design will also be trialed in two retrofits (minor changes without a total remodel or renovation) in Newport Beach and San Diego.
So, what's up with this new design? Apart from the walk-up Chipotlane windows, Chipotle is implementing pick-up portals, a shelf-like area designated for people who are just coming in to get their digital orders. This is supposed to make it more efficient for customers to find their food when they arrive.
Even though you can kind of see employees preparing food behind the counter already, the new restaurants will also have an open kitchen and "front row seating" so you can see what's going on in there at all times.
Lastly, bottled beverages will be more accessible through a customer-facing cooler built into the serving line so you can grab a Corona instead of asking for it.
After the trial period is over, Chipotle will see which restaurant type did best and roll that out nationally. So it seems that no matter what, the new design is coming to a location near you. Maybe you can even watch them make the guac - just one of many fast food menu items with a cult following.