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Life in ‘Chipotlane’ is On the Grow

Chain opens 500th pick-up lane; 80 percent of new outlets will have auto-oriented layout

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Photography: Tim Furlong Jr. Photography: Tim Furlong Jr.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Newport Beach, Calif.) has opened its 500th restaurant with a Chipotlane, its digital order drive thru pick-up lane. Located in Louisville, Ky., the milestone opening underscores the brand’s “ongoing commitment to driving access and convenience to real food,” the restaurant chain said in a news release.

“Chipotlanes are the digital drive thru of the future and a key piece of our growth strategy as we plan to more than double our restaurant count over the long-term to achieve 7000 restaurants or more in North America,” said Tabassum Zalotrawala, Chief Development Officer.

The Chipotlane format was introduced in the U.S. in early 2018, and restaurants with the feature have demonstrated higher volumes and greater returns than a traditional Chipotle restaurant format, the chain says. Next year, the company plans to open between 255 to 285 new restaurants, with at least 80 percent sporting a Chipotlane.

Chipotle has nearly 3100 restaurants in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. It is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its units.

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