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Thought Leadership

Chipotle: Solving business problems with technology for the win

How VOLTAGE helped Chipotle increase revenue by addressing scalability, time to market and user experience.

How are Fortune 500 companies rising above the competition? They generally have access to the same talent, compete for the same customers and follow the same best business practices as everyone else. However, they know something that much of the competition doesn’t: They are technology companies.

In today’s world, every company is a technology company. The question is whether you realize it or not.

Winning companies know they have a unique value proposition and unique needs, and they’ve learned to leverage customized technology to outperform their competition in their own unique way.

Here are three examples of how VOLTAGE helped Chipotle Mexican Grill turn business problems into revenue opportunities by creating specialized software tools.

1. Scalability

  • Problem: Chipotle’s fundraising program required too much staff effort to scale
  • Solution: Create custom software to streamline and assist the process
  • Result: Output increased by 400% and staff effort reduced by 60%

Deep Dive

Although Chipotle already had a good fundraising program, keeping it running required a lot of manual labor which made the process error-prone and difficult to scale. Management wanted the program to run smoothly 100% of the time.

After our initial strategy session, we realized that much of the process could be automated. We set off to build a web tool that would assist Chipotle employees in making educated decisions while automating as much as possible.

We created integrations with sales, accounting, public government data, social media, secure file storage and calendaring. The software we created automates emails, text messages, PDF generation and reporting. It equips an administrative team with tools to monitor the program both at a high-level as well as gives granular access to manually update or resolve customer issues. Chipotle decision makers are presented with various one-click approval features alongside accurate real-time data.

As soon as the software launched, staff effort required to run the program decreased by 60%, errors were drastically reduced and the administrative team had the ability to scale their program. The program is handling 5x the volume of fundraisers as it was before and has no limitations in sight. Over $40M of revenue from fundraising is processed by this software every year.

2. Time To Market

  • Problem: Chipotle needed to launch a new compliance program very quickly
  • Solution: Create custom software to impose a structured program
  • Result: Software and compliance program launched within 5 weeks

Deep Dive

Chipotle committed to become an industry leader in food safety. To fulfill an agreement with the CDC, Chipotle spearheaded a first-of-its-kind food traceability initiative. This innovative program allows Chipotle to know precisely where each box of food can be found at any given moment, starting with their suppliers, through their warehouses and down to the individual box in each restaurant. This truly marks Chipotle as an industry pioneer in food safety.

However, in order to meet their commitment, the traceability initiative needed to be fully functioning in only 5 weeks’ time. This is when Chipotle reached out to VOLTAGE. Together, we designed a program and an online tool that allowed Chipotle to quickly roll out their initiative nationwide. This feat, expected to take 9-12 months, was accomplished in only 5 weeks.

The software automates food tracking and assists with restaurant accountability. Without these time-saving features, the traceability initiative team would only have been able to roll out this program for a fraction of restaurants. The new program helped boost customer confidence in Chipotle.

3. User Experience

  • Problem: Chipotle wanted to boost revenue by increasing fundraiser signups
  • Solution: Perform UX audit; redesign customer experience to reduce friction
  • Result: Successful signups increased by 15%; partner email questions reduced by 50%

Deep Dive

With a smooth fundraiser program in place, Chipotle was ready to optimize the user experience in hopes of reducing partner questions and increasing partner fundraiser signups. The majority of emails requiring attention from Chipotle’s fundraising team were sent by fundraising partners who had questions or special requests.

Chipotle and VOLTAGE collaborated on a new, streamlined user experience designed to make the partner process easy and clear. This process made scheduling a fundraiser much simpler, similar to how TurboTax® makes taxes simpler.

VOLTAGE created a webapp for the new partner experience. Thanks to some behind-the-scenes heavy lifting and informed UX design, the new fundraiser partner process immediately resulted in 15% more successful partner signups as well as 50% fewer partner emails to the Chipotle fundraising team. That equates to half a million more revenue every month while requiring less team effort.

Check out the Chipotle case study >


VOLTAGE is a digital agency specializing in eCommerce, digital brand experiences, and web apps. Get emails and insights from our team:

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About Steven Cook

Steven Cook

Steven is the President and CTO at VOLTAGE. He is a technology enthusiast, a lifelong learner and a go-getter. He has a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a M.S. in Computer Science from Brigham Young University. He is an Eagle Scout and holds two patents. Steven believes in using creativity and technology to be a Force For Good.

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