It’s story time, zoomers: Once upon a time, there was a little chain that could, called Chipotle, which every food entrepreneur and third cousin Randle wanted their chain-to-be to grow up like. Anyway, then the company had a year from hell in 2015, and it lost its standing in the popular crowd as it became just another fast-food chain. Now, in a bid to stand out for something besides “Most Reliable E. Coli Delivery Device of the Year,” Chipotle is testing out a game-changing innovation: takeout windows.
Yes, the rumors are true. At a select few stores, the chain is experimenting with a new layout that smooths things out for online takeout orders. (Chipotle is leaning into what’s working, with online sales up by almost 88 percent.) Lucky residents of Chicago and Phoenix will get to talk to other people as little as possible thanks to these new locations, and San Diego and Newport Beach will each get a retrofitted restaurant. Chipotle’s brass is absolutely hyped, with its chief development officer Tabassum Zalotrawala calling the windows “innovative.” Why did it not think of this before?