- Chipotle is amplifying messaging around its delivery tracker, which provides step-by-step real-time updates, so customers can follow their meals from the restaurant to their locations, in response to coronavirus, a Chipotle spokesperson told Restaurant Dive. The tracker went live in Q4 2019.
- Customers can also leave special instructions for delivery in the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com to limit direct contact amid coronavirus concerns, according to a press release. The fast casual restaurant will offer free delivery starting March 15 to March 31 for any minimum order of $10 to a maximum order of $200 placed via its app or online.
- Deliveries will use a new tamper-evident packaging seal to ensure that food is untouched during delivery.
Restaurants, including Starbucks, are emphasizing their delivery capabilities following the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. Delivery orders are expected to grow as more people work from home and self-quarantine due to the novel coronavirus.
Chipotle is already equipped to handle an influx of digital orders especially as it has been beefing up its capabilities through branded delivery through its app and website, building drive-thru pickup lanes dubbed Chipotlanes, a second makeline now called Delivery Kitchen, a rewards program and installing pickup shelves in stores over the last 18 months. Digital orders have become a huge part of the company's strategy, especially since digital sales surpassed $1 billion last year.
Chipotle rebranded its second make line as Delivery Kitchen to emphasize its specialized team that is preparing deliveries on a dedicated ingredient line, the company told Restaurant Dive.
Delivery trackers are becoming increasingly popular among consumers since they let them know exactly when their orders will arrive. This will give Chipotle an even better competitive edge as delivery orders ramp up during the outbreak as only a handful of chains have been using trackers on branded sites. Domino's rolled out its GPS tracker nationwide in December while Papa John's has been using GPS at over 1,000 locations. Having tools like these to allow people to easily order will be key as restaurants struggle with decreased in-store visits as people stay home.