September 28, 2022
Casual dining chain Chipotle is piloting two new technologies it hopes will improve employee and guest experience by streamlining operations and increasing restaurant efficiency - an AI/ML kitchen management system and a restaurant program using location-based technology being testing in certain Orange County, California locations.
The new kitchen management system, designed by PreciTaste, uses vision AI to forecast food demand and ingredient use allowing restaurants to predict how much food is needed and avoid food waste. Using AI/ML, the system monitors ingredient levels in real time and notifies the crew how much to prep, cook and when to start cooking, while automatically populating real-time production planning for each restaurant.
“The new kitchen management system has alleviated manual tasks for our crew and given restaurant managers the tools they need to make informed in-the-moment decisions,” said Curt Garner, Chipotle chief technology officer, in a statement.
Chipotle is simultaneously piloting a location-based system to improve the restaurant’s app accuracy, allowing visitors to order and collect food on their mobile devices, as well as setting up a messaging service to let customers know when their orders are ready.
The announcement comes as part of Chipotle’s continued digital overhaul, following the company's announcement in April that it was establishing a $50 million venture fund to accelerate new technologies through its sites to boost customer experience and tackle ongoing issues with labor costs and shortages.
“We are exploring investments in emerging innovation that will enhance our employee and guest experience, and quite possibly revolutionize the restaurant industry,” said Garner.