Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding delivery service to 40 colleges and universities in partnership with Tapingo, a third-party service that specializes in the closed campus ecosystem, the companies said Tuesday.
Chipotle is already working with delivery providers like Postmates and OrderUp in many markets, but those providers sometimes can’t deliver to college campuses for security reasons, said Leanne Reis, a spokeswoman for Tapingo.
Tapingo, however, has clearance to serve more than 100 campuses currently, and often uses students at the respective sites as delivery drivers.
“It provides jobs that are flexible around student schedules and it streamlines the entire process,” said Reis. Students are more familiar with the campus and they have access to buildings that an outsider wouldn’t have.
The Tapingo app is also flexible to accommodate delivery to locations that may not have a specific street address, she noted. “If you want to ask for your food to be delivered to the library on the fifth floor toward the back, students can do that.”
Through the partnership, Chipotle expects to be delivering to more than 100 campuses by spring 2016, the company said.
The Denver-based chain is already extremely popular among Millennial and Gen Z diners. Chipotle cited a recent survey by William Blair that dubbed the chain “most favored restaurant” by young consumers.
“Chipotle has been popular with students going back to our very first restaurant near the University of Denver, and we are always looking for ways to better engage with them,” said Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief creative and development officer. “Tapingo, which has been well received by students where its services are available, knows how to connect with these younger customers. That shared acceptance among younger customers made them a great choice for us to expand delivery aimed specifically at students.”
Founded in 2012, Tapingo’s mobile app connects students with a variety of delivery options, including on-campus foodservice outlets, like the dining hall. The average delivery time is about 25 minutes from order placement to receipt, which Reis said is much faster than the one hour it might take for a typical off-campus delivery by other providers.
For a $1.99 monthly fee, students can join Club Tapingo, which gives them access to discounts and special event offers. Club members also get delivery for a flat fee of $2.99, with no other service charges.
Chipotle delivery is now available on six campuses: Arizona State University; California State University-Chico; Louisiana State University; University of Arizona; University of Southern California; and Northern Arizona University.
Later this fall, another 35 campuses will join the list, including California State University campuses at Fullerton and Northridge, Carnegie Melon University, Johns Hopkins University, Ohio State University and University of Utah.
Chipotle operates more than 1,850 restaurants, including 17 Chipotle units outside the U.S. and 11 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen locations. The company is also an investor in the three-unit Pizzeria Locale chain.