Carside Pickup – Chipotle Expands to 170. Panera Geofencing

By | February 8, 2021

Carside Pickup Restaurant

From Nations Restaurant News Feb 2021 — The fast-casual Mexican grill also plans to open 200 stores in 2021, and 70% of those openings will have Chipotlanes

Chipotle Carside Pickup

Chipotle Carside Pickup

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based fast-casual brand said it opened 61 new restaurants, including two relocations during the quarter, and closed one. Of those new restaurants in the quarter, 42 included a Chipotlane drive-thru. Of the 161 new restaurants opened during the year, 100 (or 62%) included a Chipotlane. With the success of off-premise sales, Chipotle plans to open 200 new stores in 2021, and 70% of those openings will have a Chipotlane.

The company last week said it would be testing carside pickup at 29 restaurant locations in California, and that customers could select carside pickup in the Chipotle app as it worked to reduce friction in the system.

Here’s how it will work: Customers will place their orders via the app and select carside pickup, drive to a participating Chipotle restaurant, park in a parking lot as close as possible to the restaurant, open the app and click “I’m here” (along with providing the make, model and color of their car), and then a Chipotle employee will bring their food out to the car.

Chipotle is not the only restaurant participating in this type of service. Carside pickup has been a popular digital add-on in pandemic-era dining. Panera Bread launched curbside pickup over the summer with geofencing technology so that employees are automatically notified when a customer arrives. Other restaurants like Subway and Shake Shack offer similar contact-free options for customers.