This Beloved Fast-Casual Restaurant Just Launched a Virtual Farmer's Market
While some restaurant chains are shutting down locations, limiting their menu, and making updates to safety measures because of the coronavirus pandemic, one is releasing details about other kinds of changes. After announcing the arrival of the long-awaited quesadilla recently, Chipotle is rolling out another new feature — a virtual farmer's market!
Several of the restaurant's suppliers are now selling their produce and products directly on Chipotle's website. Four vendors are on there now, selling cheese, rice, and meat. Simply click "Shop" and you'll be directed straight to the farm's own shopping site set up through Shopify. The products will then be delivered right to your front door.
In the Chipotle Virtual Farmer's Market, Niman Ranch is selling their humanely-raised pork that Chipotle has bought since 1998. Get cow-friendly, non-GMO Monterey Jack from Petaluma Creamery based in Northern California. Or, for another cheese option, get the same queso blanco Chipotle uses in its restaurants from Meister Cheese. This family-owned Wisconsin cheese company has been in business since 1916. Finally, make your own rice bowl at home with rice from the McKaskle Family Farms. Their organic and non-GMO white and brown rice make up the foundation for many of Chipotle's menu items.
"It can be intimidating for many family farms to change the way they do business, so we're giving our suppliers the right tools and resources to successfully launch improved eCommerce platforms," says Chipotle's chief marketing officer Chris Brandt. "Our Food with Integrity values start with our farmers and helping them adapt to new technologies and ways of reaching the consumer is crucial for both the future of the farming industry and Chipotle."
The Chipotle Virtual Farmer's Market isn't the only new addition to their website. During the pandemic, digital sales were up over 80%. To give that number another boost, the company announced that their newest menu item, the quesadilla, wouldn't be available in the select number of restaurants that had reopened, and are only online.
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