Chipotle Mexican Grill will open its first digital-only restaurant as online sales go up.
The first Chipotle Digital Kitchen will open on in Highland Falls, New York, on Saturday.
With this prototype, Chipotle aims to enter more urban areas that wouldn’t support a full-size restaurant.
“With digital sales tripling year over year last quarter, consumers are demanding more digital access than ever before so we’re constantly exploring new ways to enhance the experience for our guests,” said Curt Garner, Chief Technology Officer of Chipotle, in a statement.
The location will not include a dining room or front service line. Customers must order in advance via Chipotle.com, the Chipotle app or third-party delivery partners.
Customers can pick up their orders in the lobby, and the Digital Kitchen will also service large catering orders available for pick up in a separate lobby with its own entrance.
Chipotle also pivoted to mobile ordering through Facebook Messenger and group ordering in June amid the rise in online sales.
Virtual restaurants are expected to soar as it offers cheaper rent and less barriers to entry, according to a report by the National Restaurant Association on how the industry might operate in 2030.
Restaurants that rely heavily on sit-down dining have struggled amid restrictions on their capacity and fears of the coronavirus pandemic. As the restrictions remain in place, Americans have pivoted to online orders and delivery options.
Read more at usatoday.com