Apr 11, 2023 - Economy

Chipotle reveals all-electric, wind- and solar-powered restaurant

Chipotle restaurant location with solar panels on roof

Chipotle has opened two restaurants with its new design. Photo: Courtesy of Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle unveiled an all-electric restaurant concept Tuesday that relies entirely on alternative energy to power its stoves, grills, electric car charging ports and more.

The big picture: The reveal comes as Chipotle and other fast-food chains are under enormous pressure to reduce their carbon emissions.

  • Several major fast-food and retail chains, including Subway, 7-Eleven and Walmart, have all recently announced big pushes into electric vehicle charging as part of broader efforts to go green, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick reports.
  • While rooftop solar panels will be installed "where feasible," Chipotle says, most of the restaurants' energy will come from offsite wind and solar generation.

Driving the news: Chipotle has opened two restaurants with what it's calling "responsible restaurant design" features so far: one in Gloucester, Virginia, and another in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • A third is slated to open in Castle Rock, Colorado.
  • Highlights include electric cooking equipment to replace gas-powered variants, rooftop solar panels and heat pump water heaters.

What's next: The fast-casual Mexican chain plans to install such features as it opens new restaurants over time.

  • Chipotle aims to use all-electric equipment and at least some elements of its new design at more than 100 locations it plans to open in 2024.

The bottom line: Chipotle's goal is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, from 2019 levels, the company says.

  • The company also said Tuesday that it's planning to offer more vegetarian and vegan menu items, while purchasing 36.4 million pounds of local produce this year.

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