Chipotle’s New Plans Include ‘Really Small’ Stores Without Seats

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The burritos remain the same. Photo: Chipotle Mexican

Despite raising prices across the board, Chipotle is selling a bazillion burritos right now, and the future looks even rosier. This must help CFO Jack Hartung feel somewhat unstoppable, which is probably why the company is looking to maximize the burrito distribution process with new spots that favor takeout. During a call with investors yesterday, he laid out plans, sort of, for "some really, really small scrappy restaurants" with limited seating.

Of course, the move will allow Chipotle to expand at a much quicker pace by letting stores open in retail footprints that aren't large enough for traditional stores, but Hartung detailed "a number of reasons" why space and seats have apparently become extraneous, the first being that business has grown to be around "two thirds takeout." With the brand among the country's most established, he said they "aren't as concerned about someone coming in and not getting 'the full Chipotle dining experience' of being part of the restaurant atmosphere." In a nod to continued overseas expansion, where the burritos are generally fewer and farther between, Hartung added this minimalism would also work well "in France or England where the occupancy cost is super, super high."

Chipotle Is Building Tiny Restaurants [BI]