Chipotle is opening a 'digital-only restaurant' to serve up app, online orders

The new location won't have a dining room or line for ordering menu items.

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Chipotle on Wednesday said it's opening its first "digital-only restaurant" that'll be focused solely on online pickup and delivery orders. Unlike traditional Chipotle locations, the new store won't have a dining room or service line, and customers will have to order in advance via the Chipotle website, Chipotle app or a third-party delivery partner. 

The prototype store, dubbed the Chipotle Digital Kitchen, will open on Saturday in Highland Falls, New York.

"The Digital Kitchen incorporates innovative features that will complement our rapidly growing digital business, while delivering a convenient and frictionless experience for our guests," said Chipotle CTO Curt Garner in a release, adding that the restaurant's digital sales tripled year over year in the last quarter. 

Online orders for takeout and groceries have surged amid the coronavirus pandemic. In September, Amazon opened its first online-only Whole Foods store in New York to help meet demand for delivery orders. 

Chipotle also said the prototype store could mean more flexibility for future locations, allowing the company to open in areas that wouldn't support a full-size restaurant. In addition to pickup and takeout orders, the new Highland Falls location will also fill catering orders, Chipotle said.

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