Industry News | October 28, 2008

Chipotle Enhances Online Ordering Program

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Any computer is now a virtual Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG - News) (NYSE:CMG.B - News) thanks to the restaurant company’s newly enhanced online ordering system. The new system enables customers to place and pay for their order online, then within minutes go directly to the front of the line at the restaurant to pick it up.

“This is another way we are making our high quality food available and affordable so everyone can eat better,” says Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and CEO. “We can deliver a great Chipotle experience in a way that meets the demands of time-pressed customers.”

Among the new features added to Chipotle’s online ordering system include a secure credit card payment capability that can save customers’ information so they do not have to re-enter it every time they log on. An expanded group ordering feature allows customers to place multi-item orders under a single name, invite others via e-mail to add to their order, and manage group orders online. Like the previous generation online ordering system, the updated version allows customers to save their own favorite meals online, as well as those of friends, family, or co-workers. The system also provides ample space for comments and special instruction so customers can make the same kinds of requests they would if they visited the restaurant.

The new online-ordering system also includes an enhanced restaurant locator feature with maps to help customers find nearby restaurants, real-time pricing that calculates the price of an order including tax, and provides customers with the first available pick up time at the restaurant of their choosing. Customers start by logging on to the online ordering section of the Chipotle Web site. From there they can choose a burrito, burrito bowl, tacos, or salad, and then click through a menu featuring everything they’d normally find at their local Chipotle, including Chipotle’s naturally raised meats, choice of salsas, rBGH-free cheese or sour cream, and freshly made guacamole.

Once a customer has registered and completed their profile and preferences on their own page, they can place orders in as few as three clicks, adding considerably to the new system’s efficiency.

“We asked our regular online users and our most tech-savvy customers how to best improve this system,” Ells says. “This new version is faster, easier to use, and will enable us to add additional features and applications as new technology allows.”

Chipotle employs a second, back-of-house food line dedicated exclusively to fulfilling online orders. Since introducing online ordering in December 2005, Chipotle and has received and executed nearly 2 million online orders.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.