Chipotle is moving in a digital direction, with their digital business up 48 percent over last year. The company has introduced a new app, digital lines, digital pickup shelves, and a mobile pickup window in an effort to create a “frictionless experience” for its customers, according to Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol.
Brian Niccol, Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO, discussed their digital strategy this morning on CNBC:
What we’re trying to do is remove any friction and get people more access and we’re having a lot of success with that. Our digital business is now up to 11 percent, which is up 48 percent over last year. What’s really exciting is we’re seeing people continue to adopt the utilization of the app and then all the new access channels that we’re creating, whether it’s these digital pick-up-shelves or delivery, we’re just getting a tremendous response from our customers.
One of the things that are really powerful for our company is we’ve got what we call a Digital Make Line and it is completely separate from the Customer Facing Line. When you come into the restaurant and you go down that Customer Facing Line if you’ve placed a digital order it doesn’t get in the way of that experience. We’re also putting in place these Digital Pickup Shelves so that when you order ahead, you literally can walk in grab your food and go, a completely frictionless experience.
Our digital line requires fewer people to run it versus the front line. The thing that’s great is what we’ve seen is this digital business is highly incremental, so the additional labor necessary to support the incremental sales it works really well for us.
We’ve got the new mobile pickup window in four restaurants right now. The way it works is you order ahead and you pick your time and then you know you literally come right by the restaurant, we’ve got a window, your food comes out the window and off you go. We’re seeing tremendous response to that and it’s in a market in Ohio and a market in Texas. We’re gonna start adding more restaurants in 2019, so you’re gonna see us building more restaurants that have the ability for that mobile pickup.
The thing that is happening right now on a broad scale basis are these second lines. We’ve digitized them, we’re in about 750 restaurants we’ll have all 2,500 restaurants done by the end of 2019. To accompany that we’re putting in these digital shelves so that literally you can skip the whole process.