- Chipotle’s Chief Development Officer Tabassum Zalotrawala wrote in a LinkedIn post Sunday that she has resigned from her position at the fast casual chain. She did not indicate her future plans.
- Zalotrawala has been with Chipotle for nearly five years, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her past restaurant experience includes roles at Panda Restaurant Group and Arby’s.
- While at Chipotle, Zalotrawala oversaw the development of Chipotlanes, the company’s mobile pickup lanes that now lead the company’s future development plans.
In addition to leading the development of a Chipotlane strategy, Zalotrawala said she also oversaw the Development Center of Excellence, which provides restaurant design, concept and innovation for Chipotle. During her tenure, Chipotle reported 33% net new growth, roughly 750 units, in North America since 2019, she said. The company also opened 550 Chipotlanes during that time. Chipotle is targeting 255 to 285 restaurant openings in 2023, of which 80% will have a Chipotlane. Chipotlanes typically have 15% higher sales than a traditional Chipotle unit.
Chipotlanes aren’t the only new design the chain has developed under Zalotrawala’s leadership. The chain also opened its first Chipotlane Digital Kitchen in 2021, offering only mobile order pickup and no dining room. The company also launched its first digital-only restaurant in 2020 to allow for more urban development in areas that don’t support a full-size restaurant. It also tested pickup windows in 2019.
The company is in the initial stages of testing new kitchen equipment, including an automated digital makeline with Hyphen, an automated tortilla chip maker, and location-based technology.
Chipotle confirmed Zalotrawala has resigned and said the company is looking for a replacement.