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Chipotle Mexican Grill and the case of the Ghost Kitchen

The new trend for Chipotle Mexican Grill and other restaurants is to go digital with ghost kitchens.

They are not going digital in the way you have grown accustomed to; now they are going fully digital.

Ghost kitchens are a simple way for restaurants to have a physical presence in a local area without a seating space. This new ghost kitchen process enables restaurants like Chipote Mexican Grill to focus fully on the creation of food for pickup and delivery orders.

Ghost Kitchens Will Become More Relevant

Chiptole Mexican Grill is one of the first major brand names transitioning to this new restaurant-style. It makes sense, too, as delivery and pickup orders continue to gain significant traction each year and are only boosted by the pandemic.

The first Chipotle Digital Kitchen will start on Nov. 14, 2020, in Highland Falls, N.Y, the first physical store with zero dining room capacity. Chipotle enthusiasts can order the food online via the Chiptole Mexican Grill website or application or a third party delivery platform.

This enables Chiptole to obtain smaller spaces to accommodate cooking and prep staff along with the necessary equipment to make these highly popular Chipotle Mexican Grill offerings.

Chipotle enthusiasts swing by these kitchens and pick up food or wait while the third party delivers to them. The chain will fulfill small orders and large catering orders as well.

This new style facilitates more ways for Chipotle to expand to other locations and regions without any issues. 

“The Digital Kitchen incorporates innovative features that will complement our rapidly growing digital business, while delivering a convenient and frictionless experience for our guests,” notes Curt Garner, Chipotle’s chief technology officer, in a statement. “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.”

It is a digital world.

Digital Order Growth and Ghost Kitchens

Delivery app companies such as DoorDash, Postmates, and other companies would not be able to survive without a constant flow of orders. Thankfully, the American eater continues to show that they will pay a little extra to wait while someone makes and delivers their food. These ghost kitchens can help these third party deliver apps as restaurants will still need delivery partners, in many cases.

Chipotle is one of many brands that are witnessing growth in their online order and delivery segment. It may be one that is seeing much more success than rival restaurants, with almost 50% of current sales coming through its digital channels.

A portion of these orders was for delivery, while others were for customers who wanted to pick up their food. At the same time, another piece of Chipotle orders came through drive-thru lanes.

It is important to note here that Chipotle and other restaurants are surely seeing delivery fees start to add up. They will see how it can take a bite out of their margins and may figure out how to reduce these by instituting different structures over the long-term.

Chipotle and other brands will start to take more actions to encourage customers to order directly through their individual applications while likely disincentivizing food enthusiasts to order through third party delivery.

It is no surprise to see ghost kitchens start to pop up as it helps to increase exposure to more areas while providing more opportunities for restaurants to understand how they can improve convenience for their food enthusiasts.

Do you dine in at the restaurants you go to today? Are placing more delivery orders? How about pick up orders? We’d love to know about types of orders you find yourself making in this day and age.

What do you think about Ghost Kitchens? Comment below!

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