Chipotle Revamping Online Ordering With “Smarter Pickup Times”

Image courtesy of Josh Bassett

Last fall, Chipotle said it would begin making improvements to its online ordering system as a way to entice customers to return to the fast casual restaurant following its public bout with food borne illnesses. Now, four months later, the company is finally implementing some of those changes and reducing online order wait times.

Chipotle announced Monday that starting this week its restaurants will begin using a new “Smarter Pickup Times” system to fulfill online orders, allowing the restaurant to automatically set pickup times based on their current demand.

Under the system, Chipotle says customers who order either online or through the Chipotle app will have shorter pickup times and the ability to reserve a future pickup time.

Currently, when a customer places an order digitally they are able to set a pickup time of their choosing, regardless of how busy the restaurant is. This, the company says, has sometimes resulted in customers showing up at the restaurant before their food is ready.

The company says that through tests of the system, it was able to reduce online order wait times by as much at 50%.

With the new system, Chipotle says it will be able to better monitor digital orders to “ensure each restaurant can effectively manage the digital orders flowing into the second make-line,” which is located in the kitchen of the restaurants.

Chipotle says that this second line will now have a dedicated online order staff and be rearranged to allow greater order volume.

“Smarter Pickup Times enhances this capability by dynamically scheduling orders and generating accurate wait times based on the current volume of orders. This allows us to prepare more digital orders while simultaneously improving the customer experience,” Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle, said in a statement.

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