The burrito chain's new car-friendly feature will be tested out in Ohio.
Chipotle has been going through a spate of bad press lately: Last year, an outbreak of E. Coli and salmonella left more than 500 people ill after eating at the chain. Just last week, two cases of norovirus hit a Chipotle location in Virginia, with another 135 people reporting they felt ill after eating there. Chipotle needs a win to renew customer loyalty, and it may have found one way to do it: A drive-thru window.
Chipotle has always managed to firmly position itself as a fast casual chain, a step above McDonald’s and Taco Bell, but it's also known for it's long lines. An option that lets you cruise through the usually busy stores in the comfort of your car does sound like a burrito lover’s dream come true.
For now, the drive-thru is being tested at just one yet-to-be-named location in Ohio, so don’t get your hopes up if you were looking to try it out for yourself (unless you happen to live there of course). And there’s no word on when and even if they plan to expand the drive-thru option to other states. Ohio is also the state where Chipotle began testing out their new burger joint last year.
Although this is a clear move toward the fast food realm, Chipotle doesn’t want to call it that. Instead of using the term drive-thru, the company has officially named it the “vehicular pickup window.”
Another attempt to win over customers? Earlier this month, Chipotle rolled out a new queso in New York City, in direct competition with Moe’s, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s, which have all been serving or recently launched their own versions of queso.
Until Chipotle decides to gift the rest of the country with an even faster way to get our burrito bowls, we’ll just have to endure those signature long lines. Unless you've been hit with some of the aforementioned illnesses, the wait is (usually) worth it.