Chipotle Mexican Grill announced Thursday that the company will be testing carside pickup at 29 restaurant locations in California. Customers can participate by selecting carside pickup from the Chipotle app when they checkout.
“As our digital business evolves, we are continuing to explore ways to remove friction and increase access to our real food,” Curt Garner, Chipotle chief technology officer said in a statement. “Chipotle carside unlocks a new, highly convenient pick-up experience for guests from our restaurants’ parking lots.”
Here’s how it will work: Customers will place their orders via the app and select carside pickup, drive to a participating Chipotle restaurant, park in a parking lot as close as possible to the restaurant, open the app and click “I’m here” (along with providing the make, model and color of their car), and then a Chipotle employee will bring their food out to the car.
Chipotle is not the only restaurant participating in this type of service. Carside pickup has been a popular digital add-on in pandemic-era dining. Panera Bread launched curbside pickup over the summer with geofencing technology so that employees are automatically notified when a customer arrives. Other restaurants like Subway and Shake Shack offer similar contact-free options for customers.
Chipotle has been consistently investing in digital convenience technology throughout the pandemic to respond to changing customer needs, including the rollout of Chipotlanes – the company’s first drive-thru, digital order pickup lanes — Facebook messenger and group ordering, and the opening of their first digital-only restaurant in New York in November.
“I think we all know that customers are becoming increasingly comfortable with digital and seeking more convenience in their life,” Nicole West, Chipotle’s vice president of digital strategy and product said during NRN’s Restaurants Rise panel in August. “We’ve incentivized people who have maybe not tried digital yet or are even new to Chipotle to see how easy it is and to become regular customers.”
Chipotle did not divulge further information on when carside pickup will be available nationwide.
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