- In 2018, Chipotle’s CEO, Brian Niccol, said the chain needed to be more digitally accessible.
- Today, Chipotle’s digital sales are growing rapidly, reaching $3.4 billion in 2021.
- Here are the 12 power players responsible for the chain’s digital success.
When Brian Niccol took over as CEO of Chipotle in early 2018, his first orders were clear: make Chipotle an accessible, digitally-centric brand.
“Half of customers don’t know they can order ahead,” Niccol told Nation’s Restaurant News in 2018.
Niccol has enlisted several executives – including Curt Garner, Chipotle’s chief technology officer – to help build the brand into a digital powerhouse. Chipotle is now driving digital selling through its award-winning app and loyalty program, voice bot ordering, special online-only meals, and the development of Chipotle.
Last year, Chipotle’s digital sales hit $3.4 billion and accounted for 45.6% of the chain’s total sales, up from 10.9% in 2018. To put this in perspective, mobile ordering transactions make up for company-owned Starbucks stores in the US 25% off. of all transactions.
Chipotle is also outperforming Domino’s — another digital heavyweight in the industry — in terms of technology, according to Jim Balis, chief executive of restaurant investment firm CapitalSpring.
Behind the scenes, a handful of power players are driving Chipotle’s digital growth through automation, app design, digital marketing, and product testing.
Insider has compiled a definitive list of these executives, who Garner described as “future-focused with a penchant for action.”
“We want people who are naturally unhappy with the status quo,” he told Insider in a June interview.
Meet the 12 Chipotle power players behind the Newport Beach, California-based company’s blazing digital sales.