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We Are Definitely Under a Digital Transformation at Chipotle, Says CEO

We are definitely under a digital transformation at Chipotle, says Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol. Chipotle is in the midst of a digital and innovation revolution that is starting to see results. “Our digital business is up dramatically and the good news it’s also incremental so the total business is up,” said Niccol. “You have to have innovation happening all the time.”

Brian Niccol, CEO of Chipotle, discusses their digital transformation and new innovation culture in an interview on CNN Business:

We Are Definitely Under a Digital Transformation

Our digital business is up dramatically and the good news it’s also incremental so the total business is up. We are definitely under a digital transformation at Chipotle. We are creating access through all these mobile applications and then obviously the website. But the big transformation is actually digitizing the restaurant. We have a second line where we now have put up all the digital capability there.

When you order in the app it doesn’t interact with the front line where consumers coming into the restaurant are. It has just increased the speed, increased the accuracy, and it’s also increased the opportunity for additional forms of access. Whether it’s delivery or our new Chipotlane we are testing where people can literally just drive up, grab their food and go. We are just going to give people more ways to interact with Chipotle with a lot less friction.

Innovative Chipotlane Speeds Digital Pickup

Chipotlane is just taking your off-premise order and giving you access where you don’t have to get out of your car. This is literally where you order ahead in the app, you select your pickup time, and when you get to our restaurant you will see your name on a board and you can come around and pick it up.

We’ve got it in ten restaurants right now and it’s going really well. Every restaurant already has the second make line, so we are just putting in the digital capability. The other key piece of the puzzle is that when you walk into the restaurant there’s a place for you to pick up your digital orders. Whether it’s the deliver driver coming in to grab the food and go or whether it’s a customer coming in.

You Have to Have Innovation Happening All the Time

Consumer expectations are changing faster than ever. When you look at one of our key groups that loves Chipotle is this 18-25 year old crowd. Their attention spans are built from social media. That’s why I think it’s important to show up in the places where they are consuming media. We’ve really revolutionized the way Chipotle has communicated through our social, mobile, and digital channels. You have to have innovation happening all the time.

It could be little things that show up in social or it could be big things like we are working on doing a new quesadilla or the new advertising that’s coming out or new restaurant designs. You see innovation at big levels but we are trying to create a culture at Chipotle where we want creativity and innovation to be happening all the time. Then we need to be accountable for what this innovation teaches us, the good and the bad.

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