Chipotle’s next era of technology has begun to take shape inside restaurants, with a central focus on optimization. On Tuesday, the fast casual announced it’s piloting multiple technologies to streamline operations and strip friction from its business. The first, trialing in select Southern California restaurants, is a cook-to-needs kitchen management system that provides demand-based cooking and ingredient preparation forecasts to “optimize throughput and freshness while minimizing food waste,” the company said.
Deploying AI and machine learning, the system monitors ingredient levels in real time and alerts employees 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, ultimately enabling them to focus on an exceptional culinary and an outstanding guest experience,” said Curt Garner, chief technology officer, in a statement.
The system is powered by PreciTaste and currently live in eight Orange County, California, units. Chipotle said early results suggest the tech is effectively streamlining kitchen operations for crew members while “always ensuring a full line of fresh ingredients for guests.”
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In essence, orders are placed through an aggregator’s marketplace or through the websites of virtual brands, and Flybuy notifies the fulfilling restaurant of the delivery driver’s ETA and an approaching and arriving state. The Flybuy Dashboard provides access to all off-premises orders. In order to accurately time and throttle business, Applebee’s and IHOP previously used this system for curbside and in-store pickup.
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