Chipotle announced Thursday that its second make line, which has been added to stores systemwide over the past couple of years, will now be called Chipotle Delivery Kitchen.
In addition to the new name, Chipotle said that it will offer free delivery March 15 through March 31 for orders of at least $10. It’s also offering a new delivery tracker so customers can follow their meal in real-time. Customers have the option of leaving special instruction for delivery drivers to limit contact. The chain’s deliveries feature a new, tamper evident packaging seal to help ensure food is untouched during delivery.
"Our Delivery Kitchen is like a Chipotle within a Chipotle, preparing real, fresh, personalized bowls and burritos solely for digital guests," Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer. "Chipotle is the first brand to scale this concept nationally with over 2,500 restaurants featuring the unique set-up for digital orders, and our March Free Delivery offer is the perfect opportunity to experience the Delivery Kitchen."
The second make line is intended to improve speed of service and handle the growth in off-premises orders. Delivery Kitchens are also responsible for monitoring Chipotlanes, the brand's drive-thru lanes that allow customers to pick up mobile orders without leaving their cars.
In Q4, digital sales hit $282 million, a 78 percent increase year over year. It now accounts for nearly 20 percent of sales, a figure that has quadrupled in the past three years. In Q2, the chain reeled in $262 million in digital sales, skyrocketing 99 percent year over year. In Q3, digital sales were at $257 million, an 88-percent jump from last year. Digital has essentially become a $1 billion business for the brand.
CEO Brian Niccol said that units with a Chipotlane have digital sales in the high 20s. At the end of 2019, 66 restaurants had this feature, including 46 that opened in Q4. In 2020, the brand wants to open 150 to 165 stores, and more than half of those will include a Chipotlane.
Although Chipotle did not make a specific reference, the announcement comes amid growing concerns regarding the coronavirus. Several other brands have also promoted contactless delivery as more residents go into quarantine.