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Chipotle Testing New Digital-Friendly Restaurant Design

Chipotle Mexican Grill is testing a new restaurant design to help back up the company's $1 billion digital business.
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Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - Get Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Report said Thursday it was testing a new restaurant design to help back up the company's $1 billion digital business.

The Newport Beach, California-based fast food chain said the digital-friendly design will be tested at new restaurants in Chicago, Cincinnati, and two locations in Phoenix. The program will include an urban store front and a standalone location with a "Chipotlane" drive-through lane for digital orders.

In addition, the new design will be tested at two retrofitted locations in Newport Beach and San Diego.

Introduced earlier this year, the Chipotlane allows customers to order through the company's mobile app or on its website and then pick it up at the drive-through lane without having to leave their car. The company said it expects to have about 60 Chipotlanes by the end of the year.

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The new design is intended to "help reduce friction and increase convenience for customers and delivery drivers alike" will include walk-up windows and "and premium placement for digital built in pick-up portal."

Digital sales grew nearly 90% in the third quarter, the company said in October, and accounted for 18.3% of sales.

Chipotle said it will assess the performance of each restaurant for transactions, guest feedback, and the ability to incorporate future menu innovations, among other metrics, before determining which design will roll out nationally.

"While we are staying true to Chipotle's heritage, we are also excited to integrate new, innovative physical features into the restaurant that complement our growing digital business," said Tabassum Zalotrawala, chief development officer.

Shares were up nearly 1% to $833.45 on Thursday.