A new kind of fast-food restaurant is coming to Delta Township. Mexican food chain “Chipotle Mexican Grill” will be opening a “Chipotlanes” restaurant in the Delta Township.
This restaurant will be one of only three in the country, said Chipotle spokesperson Bret Postal of Clarkston, Michigan.
The Chipotlanes restaurant is a departure from the traditional fast-food experience, as customers can pick up food from the drive-through.There will be no ordering in the drive-through lane. Customers must order from the Chipotle app and pick up their order from the drive-through window.
There will be no typical order board. This will eliminate the time it takes people to order and pay because those will be done through the app. So, the traffic will remain smooth and uninterrupted, according to Delta Planning Commission Director Gary Bozek. Most new trips are not expected to be from West Saginaw Highway or Mall Drive South, but from customers adjacent roadways for other reasons, according to Trisha Sieh of designing firm Kimley-Horn. The drive-through lanes will be tested in locations around the country to boost online orders, said Postal.
The new Chipotlanes will replace the existing Chipotle restaurant in the Delta Township Shopping Center. Its current employees will be relocated and retrained for the new location, said Postal. A dine-in feature will remain. According to Bozek, the renovated restaurant is expected to serve around 600 customers a day. Approximately 120 of those customers will be served through the “Chipotlanes” window. There will be dine-in options for non drive-through customers.
The new Chipotlanes may even aim to target Grubhub drivers around the area, said planning commission member Arnold Weinfeld.
“If I’m Chipotle, I go to the Grubhubs of the world, and say, ‘hey I can get your guys in and out much faster than the competitors,’” said Weinfeld. Grubhub drivers will now be able to pick up orders without ever leaving their car.This addition to the shopping center will create more traffic for retailers, said Weinfield.
The planning commission unanimously approved the new concept. This is largely due to the location already being set aside for commercial zoning, according to Bozek. But, approval is only a recommendation for the Delta Township Board, which has to approve the ordinance before construction can begin.
Mark Mudry, a member of the planning board, expressed concerns over the parking lot and driveways of the plaza before construction begins. “I went in there and almost lost a car,” he said. Mudry believes the lack of maintenance being done could be a sign of the first stage of urban decay. Though the parking lot has since been repaired, Jim Nutley presented a solution. Nutley is the project director of Brixmor Property Group who is building the Chipotlanes.
He said tenants can send photographs of potholes and road damage to property managers, which will result in faster repairs. “It’s a ‘see something, say something’ type thing.”
Besides concerns over the parking lot, Bozek said no aspect of the drive-through window will pose a nuisance. “In fact, there will be less of a noise nuisance with no traditional ordering board. There will be very minimal impacts on the surrounding area or the environment. You are in an area that already has various commercial uses.” Said Bozek.