Chipotle to open its first pickup-only location this weekend

Chipotle Mexican Grill said Wednesday it is opening a location that only accepts digital orders and has no dining area as the pandemic continues to empty restaurants. The new facility — slated to

Chipotle Mexican Grill said Wednesday it is opening a location that only accepts digital orders and has no dining area as the pandemic continues to empty restaurants.

The new facility — slated to open on Saturday in Highland Falls, NY, just outside the US Military Academy at West Point — will only serve pickup and delivery orders that are placed on Chipotle’s app, website or through other delivery companies.

The location, called a Chipotle Digital Kitchen, makes food available for pickup in a lobby space inside. Chipotle said it will open more locations in urban areas where space is limited and order volumes are greater.

Chipotle is testing the concept as the pandemic has forced more fast-food restaurants to lean into digital ordering and drive-thru lanes. McDonald’s said last month that its drive-thru business has increased dramatically since March, accounting for 70 percent of its sales during the pandemic. Pizza chains like Papa John’s and Domino’s, which already operate many pickup-only locations, have thrived.

“With digital sales tripling year-over-year last quarter, consumers are demanding more digital access than ever before,” chief technology officer Curt Garner said in a statement.

Chipotle’s shares were up by more than 2 percent in pre-market trading on Wednesday after closing down 2.7 percent to $1,243.05 on Tuesday.

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