Chipotle to Add 10,000 Employees for Drive-Thru Push

The chain anticipates including outdoor lanes at more than 60% of new stores. 

July 20, 2020

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.—Chipotle Mexican Grill will add 10,000 employees during the next few months as it increases the number of drive-thru lanes to handle digital orders, the Wall Street Journal reports. Locations that have drive-thrus need more staff than typical Chipotle restaurants, the company said last week.

Restaurants that offer drive-thru service have fared better than those without that option. Chipotle indicated it would be putting drive-thrus in more than 60% of all new stores. From January to March, the company opened 19 new stores, with 11 of those having drive-thru lanes.

“Customers want convenience and appreciate the ability to personally retrieve their orders without leaving their car,” said Scott Boatwright, chief restaurant officer at Chipotle.

The chain saw digital sales jump around 81% year over year to top $371 million for the first three months of 2020. Those numbers represented more than a quarter of the chain’s sales.

Other restaurants are focusing on easier pickup options as well. For example, last month, Starbucks said it would open 40 to 50 pickup only stores between now and June 2021. Darden Restaurants said its restaurants, which include Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouses, would work to make carryout easier.

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