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02/15/2022

Chipotle in big store milestone

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Chipotle has opened its 3,000th restaurant, in Phoenix.

Chipotle Mexican Grill continues to expand its footprint as it increasingly focuses on digital orders and drive-thru.

The quick-service chain has opened its 3,000th restaurant, in Phoenix. The location includes the brand's digital order, drive thru pick-up lane, called Chipotlane.

During the next 12 months, Chipotle, which owns and operates all its restaurants, plans to open 235 to 250 new restaurants. In 2021, Chipotle opened 215 locations in the United States, Canada and Europe. Approximately 80% of the new restaurants featured a Chipotlane.

“This format has proven to enhance guest access and convenience, as well as increase new restaurant sales, margins, and returns,” the company stated.

With a long-term goal of more than doubling its restaurant count in North America to some 7,000 locations, Chipotle has a three-pronged approach to expanding its Chipotlane footprint. This includes new restaurant openings, strategic relocations and existing building conversions. Chipotle is also targeting growth through small-town opportunities that deliver results at or better than traditional locations

“We are thrilled to celebrate our 3,000th restaurant opening, and the progress we've made towards our goal of having 7,000 restaurants or more in North America," said Brian Niccol, chairman and CEO, Chipotle. 

In December 2021, the brand unveiled a new prototype, “Chipotlane Digital Kitchen,” in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

It features a Chipotlane, a walk-up window for digital order pickup and outdoor patio seating, but no dining room.

An increasing number of quick-serve restaurant chains have opened new formats focused on drive-thru and digital orders, ranging from Taco Bell to Jimmy Johns.