Apr 19, 2022 - Technology

Chipotle launches a $50 million venture capital fund

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chipotle on Tuesday announced the creation of a $50 million venture capital fund to invest in tech startups that can help it better run its restaurants or improve the customer experience.

Between the lines: Quick-serve restaurant chains have begun experimenting with automation, including Chipotle's tortilla chip-cooking robot (Chippy) and Sweetgreen buying a startup that automates the cooking and delivery of warm and salad bowls.

  • Chipotle also recently began testing RFID tech to trace and track ingredients.

What they're saying: "We are looking to make investments that will increase guest access to Chipotle as well as elevate the human experience for our teams," Chipotle CTO Curt Garner tells Axios. "It could be anything from innovations in farming and supply chain, to advanced robotics, and beyond, as long as it helps further our mission to cultivate a better world."

  • The fund hasn't yet made any deals, Garner adds, and could eventually be open to outside investments.
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