Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., otherwise popularly known simply as Chipotle, has announced that it is expanding plans to build new outlets across the country with drive-up features.
The expansion comes as the Newport Beach, California-based company has seen its online sales increase by more than 60 percent in the second quarter of this year.
That boom in online transactions has allowed Chipotle to post an overall sales decline for the second quarter of only 9.8%, significantly smaller than the 11.5% decrease anticipated by industry observers.
During that quarter the company closed 30 of its 2,670 restaurants, many of which were located in shopping malls.
At the same time, Chipotle built 37 new restaurants, and of that total, 21 included structural drive-up features.
Altogether, around 100 of the company’s locations have now embraced the drive-through format, officially called a Chipotlane. But Chipotle has also announced that because the feature has been so well received, it plans to build at least 1,000 similar stores between now and 2025.
In a statement issued upon the release of the company’s second quarter figures, Brian Nicol, Chipotle chief executive officer, said stores with drive-up features, “continue to perform very well and are helping enhance guest access and convenience, as well as increase new restaurant sales, margins, and returns.”
Founded in the summer of 1993 in Denver, Chipotle, with an average store size between 2,200 and 2,500 square feet, has a strong presence primarily on the East and West coasts.
It currently has just over 170 outlets combined in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.
By Garru Boulard
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