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chipotle makeline.jpg Photo courtesy of Chipotle
Chipotle is testing an automated digital makeline for bowls and salads.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is testing an automated makeline for its bowls and salads

Chipotle said approximately 65% of its digital orders are bowls or salads.

Chipotle is testing an automated digital makeline for its bowls and salads at its Cultivate Center in Irvine, Calif. According to the company, the dishes are created by Hyphen’s automated system and are then moved through the bottom makeline where ingredients are automatically added before an employee manually adds a lid. An employee is then able to use the top makeline to make burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and kid’s meals on the same digital order.

The company said approximately 65% of its digital orders are bowls or salads, so the automated makeline is expected to free up time for employees to service the front makeline and improve order accuracy.

"Chipotle's new digital makeline built by Hyphen embodies our commitment to leveraging robotics to unlock the human potential of our workforce, ensuring an elevated dining experience for our guests," Curt Garner, chief customer and technology officer, said in a statement. "Our goal is to have the automated digital makeline be the centerpiece of all our restaurants' digital kitchens." 

Chipotle led a round of funding for San Jose, Calif.-based Hyphen last year, marking one of the chain’s first investments from its Cultivate Next venture fund. Founded in 2020, Hyphen has developed a robotic makeline that essentially allows restaurants to double their production capacity in the same amount of space.

Through the $50 million Cultivate Next fund, Chipotle also invested in Vebu, a product development company that works with food industry leaders to co-create intelligent automation and technology solutions. Earlier this year, Chipotle and Vebu unveiled the Autocado, an avocado processing cobotic prototype that cuts, cores, and peels avocados before they are hand mashed to create guacamole.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]


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