America's Fast-Casual Restaurant Is Debuting This Unusual Way to Pick Up Orders

The California-based fast-casual restaurant aims to expand its drive-through choices, as well as add new "lanes" for customers who prefer to pick up their meals on foot.

The first Chipotle walk-up window will open this week in Gainesville, Fla., where foot traffic from the University of Florida is heavy.

Walk-up windows can also be seen in a Chipotle in Chicago, as well as a few in New York that were tested as part of the concept as early as 2019.

The walk-thrus will solve the problem for metropolitan areas that don't have enough space for a drive-thru but yet want more quick-order choices.

started thinking about places that can't have a Chipotlane because they don't have enough space. These are urban areas with a high volume of foot traffic.

In an urban setting, those units are typically areas that are physically smaller, longer, or have narrower storefronts.

During the pandemic, the chain's internet sales surged, accounting for more than half of the brand's sales in 2020.

The firm intends to hire up to 10,000 more people to work the drive-thrus, with the hope that they will become the company's backbone.

Chipotle plans to open 235 to 250 new locations this year, with Chipotlane drive-thrus or walk-thrus expected to be found in 80 percent of them.

These pedestrian pick-up windows look to be a win-win for both customers and Chipotle: they are less expensive to install than a drive-thru, which requires space and a concrete pad.

You'll be able to place an order ahead of time using the Chipotle app or website, and then walk or drive straight up to the window for the utmost convenience.

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