Chipotle now testing Carside Pickup service

Chipotle now testing Carside Pickup service

Newport Beach restaurant operator Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) said Thursday it has begun testing curbside pick-up at some locations, including one in Fountain Valley, as the company broadens its digital service offerings.

The OC location is one of 29 restaurants, the rest being located in the San Jose area, testing the new service before the company’s plans to roll it out nationally.

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The service, which Chipotle’s calling Carside Pickup, uses the company’s app. When customers arrive at a restaurant, they tap an “I’m Here” button within the app, to alert an employee to bring out their order.

The test is the latest response to the growth of digital for the restaurant chain.

Chipotle, which counts more than 2,700 restaurants, saw its digital sales triple in the third quarter from the year-ago period. The channel also accounted for 48.8% of sales during the quarter.

Carside pick-up is the latest service around digital being tested by Chipotle after rolling out the chat bot Pepper to assist with customer questions in app, opening its first kitchen servicing only pickup and delivery in New York, rolling out Chipotlanes and adding the ability to place orders through Facebook Messenger among other features.

Chipotle shares were trading up 1.6% to $1,490.19 in midday trading Thursday. The company had a recent market cap of $42 billion.