1. Technology & Innovation

Chipotle’s Future is on Auto Pilot

The consumers is dynamic not static and companies must be as dynamic as their consumers according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® who stated “like it or not autonomous vehicles are on the way, adoption and migration might just be fast / sooner than any of expect.  

That said Chipotle Mexican Grill has invested in a self-driving, robotic delivery company, by participating in a Series C funding round for Nuro, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that was founded in 2016. Today, Nuro operates a robotic fleet of “on-road, occupant-less and autonomous vehicles to deliver everyday consumer goods,”. Clearly Chipotle is looking a customer ahead.

While the pandemic has accelerated digital usage and tech adoption at restaurants of all sizes. Chipotle saw its digital business grow 174% in 2020, compared to the prior year, with about half of those digital sales coming from delivery Chipotle is clearly looking for ways to reduce delivery cost.

In a statement Chipotle said, “The investment in Nuro is part of the chain’s exploration of “disruptive opportunities outside of traditional third-party partnerships,”

Curt Garner, Chipotle’s chief technology officer, stated, “We are always seeking opportunities that provide innovative solutions for increasing access and convenience for our guests,”… “Nuro could change the traditional delivery model and we believe consumers are going to continue to seek options and additional access points for how and where they enjoy their food.”

The Chipotle’s investment in Nuro is the chain’s first “significant” backing of third-party technology company since Brian Niccol took over as CEO in 2018, the chain said. Customers never go backwards.  Chipotle is setting itself up to win in the future?  If you plan to be a ‘player’ you have to step-up to the plate according to Johnson.

So, late 2020, Nuro secured the first and only deployment permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, allowing the company’s driverless cars to operate commercially on roads in two counties near the Bay Area.   Are you looking a customer ahead taking dynamic steps or looking back and setting goals that look more like 2019? 

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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