March 21, 2017
Chipotle Mexican Grill is improving its restaurant technology to reduce the wait times with digital order scheduling options.
The restaurant unveiled its "Smarter Pickup Times" technology for restaurants that provide the digital ordering service. The system is an improvement of its digital ordering options for the web, Android and iOS by letting users schedule their orders and reserve the pickup time at desired Chipotle location. The system will inform customers of their wait time based on its present order volume
When the Smarter Pickup Times option was tested, the restaurant noted it did two things:
It decreases digital order wait times by nearly 50%
It saw a boost in the amount of digital orders
Chipotle's Chief Information Officer Curt Garner said they have been looking at their digital offerings in an effort to eliminate the friction. He said it began with a website redesign - to ensure it responsive to any device customers were using - smartphone, laptops, tablet, etc. He said they also contended with the online catering and out-of-store payment options. Garner said changes are still being made with the latest "Smarter Pickup Times" technology.
He said the change has led to a decline in digital wait time orders and can keep restaurants from being overloaded with too many digital orders, especially when it's peak time.
Chipotle's latest digital option is just the latest in various advances restaurants across the world are making with consumers wanting more restaurant tech.
Mobile order placement is still a new phenomenon in North American restaurants. About 32% of North American customers have reported using a mobile device to order their food. The demand for mobile ordering is high though, especially in the millennial age group. 77% of customers between the ages of 18 and 34-years-old want or feel mobile ordering should be available at fast-food restaurants. This percentage increased to 83% for fast-casual stores.