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A Look At Chipotle's First Restaurant With A Walk-Up Window

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Jayson Derrick
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Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) opened a restaurant in Chicago where to-go orders are placed in a walk-up window and customers don't have to step foot inside.

What Happened

Chipotle's restaurant in Chicago is the only one of its kind as management is very active in evaluating how it can best position the brand for future growth, according to Nation's Restaurant News. So far, digital sales are accounting for more of Chipotle's growth and the company needs to stay ahead of the growing competition.

Across California, other locations are experimenting with high-top tables, pick-up shelves in different locations, eco-friendly furniture, and a low glass partition along the dine-in line.

Why It's Important

Chipotle also understands the need to make sure takeaway orders don't merely replace dine-in orders, according to NRN. Some of the initiatives Chipotle is also experimenting with include a mix of barstools and community tables in the dine-in area to "foster a sense of community," the company said.

Chipotle is focused on growing through initiatives that are working with consumers. Drive-thru lanes usually account for 60% to 70% of total sales, according to NRN. In Chipotle's case, the company plans to open 150 to 160 new restaurants in 2020, more than half of which will include a drive-thru option.

"We definitely see a sales increase associated with adding that additional access," Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said during a December presentation. "We love what the economics look like."

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