Chipotle, once the darling of fast-food chains, is working to revamp its reputation after battling food-safety concerns.
In the fall, Chipotle will introduce a redesigned app for iOS and Android that aims to cut the time it takes for customers’ orders to be ready for pickup.
“We realize our guests are on the go more than ever before,” said Curt Garner, chief digital and information officer at Chipotle.
Chipotle introduced its app in 2009. During peak hours, a single order could take up to 30 minutes, if not longer. That system no longer works in a world where consumers expect their food right away, especially when they are ordering through an app.
In February, Chipotle started to automate wait times, introducing technology that gave customers an approximate time for when they could pick up their order. Since then, Garner said, the average time a consumer waits for an app order is around 15 minutes.
Chipotle aims to cut that time further with the new app. It will use a second prep line Chipotle set up just for digital orders at most of its restaurants so those orders no longer have to compete with those placed in restaurants. Those prep lines will let employees process orders faster and more accurately, Garner said. The new app will continue to update consumers on the timing of their order and give them exact times, rather than approximate ones.
The new app will also give consumers more control over customizing their orders and let them pay using Apple Pay and Android Pay, two options often requested by customers, said Garner.
Shorter wait times translate to more frequent visitors, according to Deloitte Digital, which is working with Chipotle on the new app. Deloitte data found that when consumers use mobile technology to place orders at a fast-food restaurant, the average amount spent per visit increases by 20 percent and the frequency of restaurant visits increases by 6 percent.