NEWPORT BEACH, CA (StLouisRestaurantReview) Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today announced that it has invested in Nuro, a leader in autonomous delivery, as part of their Series C funding round. Nuro uses robotics in their fleet of on-road, occupantless, and autonomous vehicles to deliver everyday consumer goods. This is the first significant investment in a third-party technology company the organization has made since Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer Brian Niccol took the helm in 2018.
Expanding access and convenience through Chipotle’s digital ecosystem is a strategic priority for the company. Chipotle’s digital business grew over 174% year over year in 2020, with about half of the digital sales coming from delivery. Early investments in digital innovation have provided a competitive advantage operationally with digital kitchens and the brand’s Chipotlanes. Now the organization is exploring disruptive opportunities outside of traditional third-party partnerships.
“We are always seeking opportunities that provide innovative solutions for increasing access and convenience for our guests,” said Curt Garner, Chief Technology Officer. “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.”
“Nuro and Chipotle share the same commitment to improving everyday life through innovative products, whether it’s through responsibly sourced food or autonomous delivery vehicles,” said Dave Ferguson, Nuro Co-founder, and President. “With financial and strategic support from world-class companies like Chipotle, we can continue to advance our industry-leading autonomous technology, grow our team and expand our delivery service.”
In addition to increasing access in the U.S., Chipotle announced earlier this week that it would be expanding its footprint in Canada with new restaurant openings over the next year. Additionally, Chipotle recently added its first-ever customizable digital entrée, the Hand-Crafted Quesadilla, to the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com.
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