Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
Their digital-only restaurant still has a physical location. The trial restaurant will be in Highland Falls, New York and has already set up guidelines for it. Customers are requires to order in advance either online or through a third party delivery service, and they will be able to pick up their food in a lobby that still delivers the restaurant experience. Chipotle plans on being able to deliver the sights, sounds and smells that accompany their other restaurants at their digital-only restaurant. The model design will not only help during quarantine times, but will also allow for the chain to enter higher density urban areas where a full sit-down restaurant might not be feasible.
Even before Chipotle's plan to go with the digital angle for their restaurants, they had already been adding second food prep lines that were specifically for their online orders. The restaurants also had times to test out a digital-only model in specific locations as virus outbreaks and lockdowns affected in-person dining. A spike in online orders and pickups from third-party delivery companies not only paved the way to Chipotle's digital destination.
According to their CEO Brian Niccol, having a digital restaurant cuts the costs of opening in half, and restaurants can still make full profits from a digital only restaurant. Thanks to this experimental move, Chipotle shares have already climbed 1.2%. If they continue at this pace, with already a 48% pop in stocks just this year alone, they're well on their way to an even better fiscal year. Whats more, if their digital-only model is successful, it may become the new norm and change the way we do takeout for good.