Sunday, July 26, 2020

Chipotle Test Drives Virtual Restaurant Success

How valuable is a brand?  How valuable is a Brand Manager?  According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® at Chipotle the value of its brand can be determined with the success of its virtual restaurant trail aka second make line for their ‘digital kitchens’.
With restaurant sales in a quagmire not of their own making restaurateurs like all retailers must find new avenues of distribution.  While for many virtual restaurants are still an idea, others an experiment, and some say they will ‘never try’ a virtual restaurant, they just might want to reconsider after they hear what Chipotle has done with ‘digital kitchens’.
Regular readers of this blog have read and heard about Chipotle’s virtual restaurants ‘digital kitchens’ here. Well get this the digital kitchens are bringing in $1 million a year on their own per store.  That my friends is the power of brand marketing.
At the intersection of the consumers, technology, the pandemic, is the continued drive for grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and Chipotle once again has tapped into the number one drive of food customer migration relevance according to Johnson.

 Chipotle Mexican Grill’s  CEO Brian Niccol stated “  the chain is able to generate the average unit volume of many standalone restaurants from just a portion of its stores is no small feat and one that is giving Chipotle some extra runway during the pandemic….“One of the things that’s been a nice benefit of all the growth in our digital business is we now have scale,” …We’re doing over $1 million of business off this digital make line … and we’ve got some restaurants doing well beyond that.”
So, get this at Chipotle digital sales were up 216%+  for the quarter ended June 30 and now make up 60.7% of Chipotle’s total sales.  Stop right now, and think sure that up-number 216 is high and it should as it new. Now while your thinking consumers what our Grocerant Guru® says all the time.  The consumers is dynamic not static.  Are you watching the consumer move or are you moving with them?
Niccol continues “We have found is we can have success providing digital-only menu items,”.  Which means growth for Chipotle will cost less that someone else that has to build out a new restaurant.  Chipotle can now define areas of need and simply open a virtual restaurant.  Not only that but it looks as if sales for a new virtual store could well top $ 1 Million a year?  What’s your cost for growth?
What role will grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared play for your branding moving forward.  Is your restaurant practicing brand protectionism or are you evolving your brand with relevance?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

1 comment:

  1. That is a great idea and an awesome way of minimizing costs. I love it