This Is Why Chipotle Refused to Have Drive-Through Lanes—Until Now

The new addition isn't your typical drive-through.

Big Chipotle store outside.MilesbeforeIsleep/Shutterstock

Chipotle prides itself on being a customizable fast-casual dining experience. The market makes convenient Mexican grub, without the old hangups of fast-food restaurants—like the inefficient drive-through. The chain refused to have these lanes because they wanted to focus more on the in-store experience, according to Restaurant Business.

The customizability of Chipotle also makes it hard for a drive-through lane to work. For other chains, it’s as simple as ordering a number ten. Yet, it’s much more challenging to order a customized burrito with tons of sides and add-ons. The brand is shaking things up now with a new twist on the old-school drive-through window. Here are 13 crazy things drive-through workers have seen on the job.

Customers at ten Chipotle locations can currently order on the mobile app and schedule a pickup time to grab their food from a window. This allows people to skip the long line inside and cuts out the wait time that most people deal with at traditional drive-throughs. Plus, there’s no need to squint at a fading menu or shout your order into a box.

Chipotle started testing their “Chipotlanes” in January of 2018 and plan to expand them to a dozen or so more locations in 2019. Other fast-casual chains added similar quick pick-up spots recently, including Smashburger and Panera Bread. It seems that people still like the convenience of not leaving their car for food. If you want even more insider info, check out these 18 secrets Chipotle employees won’t tell you.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest who previously wrote for INSIDER, the Food Network, POPSUGAR, Well + Good, Westchester Magazine, and more. There's also a 90 percent chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she's not writing away about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.