Chipotle Mexican Grill continues its expansion into Canada with a location in Surrey, B.C. The restaurant marks Chipotle’s first Canadian location since its Markham, Ontario, restaurant opened its doors in October 2018.
Chipotle also plans to unveil its first Canadian location with its Chipotlane feature at a restaurant opening in Port Coquitlam, B.C., this summer. Chipotlane, the brand’s digital order pickup lane, increases access and promises convenience by providing a speedy and seamless guest experience in less than a minute, according to the company. In addition to the Surrey and Port Coquitlam locations, Chipotle plans to open 6 more restaurants in British Columbia and Ontario during the next 12 months. Chipotle operates 23 restaurants in Canada, with locations in the greater Toronto and Vancouver metro areas as well as Ottawa and London, Ontario.
“Canada has cleared our stage-gate process, and we are ready to accelerate new restaurant openings,” says Jack Hartung, chief financial officer. “We will be experimenting with different location formats and restaurant designs throughout the country to gauge consumer preferences in the various markets.”
Chipotle has invested in digital platforms and delivery partnerships in response to growing demand in Canada. In May 2020, Chipotle inked a deal with Uber Eats to grow its delivery footprint for Canadian guests, and a month later, the brand launched the Chipotle app in Canada.
Chipotle’s digital progress has been coupled with growing menu innovation for Canadian customers. In January, the brand launched Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, its latest plant-based option, in Canada for a limited time. Earlier this month, Chipotle added its first-ever customizable digital entree, a quesadilla. The quesadilla is folded and pressed using a new custom oven, which melts the cheese and enables restaurants to make them more quickly. This marks the first customizable entree Chipotle has added to its menu since it introduced a salad option 17 years ago.