NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 will 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.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is cultivating a better world by serving responsibly sourced, classically-cooked, real food with wholesome ingredients without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Chipotle had over 2,750 restaurants as of December 31, 2020, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants. With nearly 88,000 employees passionate about providing a great guest experience, Chipotle is a longtime leader and innovator in the food industry. Chipotle is committed to making its food more accessible to everyone while continuing to be a brand with a demonstrated purpose as it leads the way in digital, technology and sustainable business practices. Steve Ells, founder, first opened Chipotle with a single restaurant in Denver, Colorado in 1993. For more information or to place an order online, visit WWW.CHIPOTLE.COM.
Nuro is the leader in autonomous delivery using robotics to improve everyday life. The company's fleet of on-road, fully occupantless and autonomous vehicles are designed to deliver everyday goods to consumers in a way that is quick, affordable, and most importantly, safe. Nuro is on a mission to fundamentally change the last mile of local delivery for consumers and businesses alike, while using the power of robotics for the greater good.
SOURCE Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.