Once a Wall Street darling, Chipotle is now facing two years of slumping sales. The troubled burrito brand is loading up on technology to try to turn itself around. It just announced that it will be rolling out enhanced mobile ordering, drive-through, delivery, and a new loyalty program to its digital line-up.
Loyalty for the chain had been waning for some time. Search volume for branded searches such as “chipotle” plateaued relative to unbranded searches according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants— creating an opportunity for other restaurants to find uncommitted customers through digital channels.
Though the chain had experimented with delivery partners such as Postmates, Factor, and Tapingo in the past, its new, sped-up mobile delivery system will include designated queues and shelves for mobile, delivery, and drive-through orders. Additionally, digital screens will allow staffers to see which orders are ready. The restaurant will also be launching a permanent loyalty program that will reward purchases made in-store or through the Chipotle app.
Fast casual restaurants like Chipotle have the highest adoption of fulfillment features, with 32% of fast casual brands tracked in Gartner L2’s study offering order for delivery on the brand site and 84% offering an order for pickup option. With this in mind, it’s possible Chipotle’s new roster of digital features could be the secret ingredient to enticing customers once again.