New layout next step in Chipotle reboot
After a series of struggles mid-decade that painted a bleak picture for the future of Chipotle, the fast-casual burrito chain is by many accounts back on the upswing. Now Chipotle is rolling out a new redesign to build on its digital momentum as online sales approach $1 billion.
The design features a walk-up pickup windows and a specialized area for app ordering to reduce friction and increase convenience for customers and delivery drivers alike. Said Curt Garner, chief technology officer, in a statement, “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.”
The look and feel will also be different, with an open layout and a direct line of sight into the kitchen. The openness is designed to emulate the chain’s increased commitment to transparency and inspire a sense of community. Additionally, bottled beverages will be more accessible with a customer-facing reach in cooler built into the serving line.
Said Tabassum Zalotrawala, chief development officer of Chipotle, “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.”
The new restaurant design will be trialed in four stores.
Chipotle took a big hit to its reputation in 2015, when a wave of norovirus and e. coli outbreaks created a nationwide PR disaster. Former Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol became CEO in March 2018 and instituted a turnaround plan.
After some trepidation early on, the market and press have been responding favorably, with Business Insider recently describing the chain’s turnaround as “incredible.” The article ascribes the chain’s return to customers’ good graces to the introduction of new menu items, a focus on its mobile app and delivery, a new loyalty program and improved staff training.
- Chipotle Debuts New Restaurant Design To Support Its $1 Billion Digital Business – Chipotle
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- Taco Bell’s ex-CEO used these 6 strategies to spark Chipotle’s incredible turnaround – Business Insider
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the greater benefit of Chipotle’s new design: easing online pickup or increasing transparency? What are the most important factors likely driving Chipotle’s continued momentum?