Chipotle Mexican Grill is a casual fast-food establishment known for its fresh, healthy ingredients. Their expansion plan changed dramatically, due to COVID-19, requiring new solutions as they added the “Chipot-lane” to meet the needs of the time. Over the past two years, Arch-Fab has developed solutions and patent-pending products to be a partner to Chipotle with wall panels, canopies, and slat wall trellises.
Arch-Fab’s national account relationship started as a solution to replace the rusting Corten panels that originally enveloped the drive-thru. The natural rusting of the panels dripped down, creating unsightly rust stains on the pavement. In keeping with the same Corten finish, Arch-Fab’s longtime partner, Quality Powder Coating (QPC), reached out for a wall panel solution to replace the Corten.
Arch-Fab’s main challenge consisted of developing a work-flow process with better lead times developing high-quality products and repeatable systems. This would enable Chipotle’s architects and general contractors to easily design and install at multiple locations.
The other challenge was designing a wall panel system that was right for the needs of Chipotle. The drive-thrus are a unique architectural focal point that needed to be durable and mimic the previous Corten colors.
Architectural Fabrication leadership developed a new Extruded Aluminum Panel System that includes screw bosses for strength against wear and tear, plus a groove design for ease of installation. This patent-pending Wall Panel System has been integrated into our product line as a great alternative to fiber cement board.
QPC also provided several selections of corten-like powder coats that matched the style, but without any of the mess (no rust stains!). We also developed a reinforced canopy system modeled off of the Helios Canopy in order to remove overhead supports.
To meet the needs of Chipotle, Arch-Fab dedicated a Precon Specialist and Project Manager to oversee the management of all Chipotle work. They helped create a standard submittal package following the Chipotle prototype – increasing our speed when producing the submittal package for subsequent locations. This allowed for simple changes and edits to each package while keeping the details clear.
- Extruded Wall Panel System
- Reinforced Helios Canopy
- Slat Wall Trellis
Our first designs created for Chipotle continued to evolve as we built products specific to the needs of Chipotle locations across the country. This project jumpstarted our entry into the Wall Panel space, creating new opportunities with local businesses and locking in our value as a provider to Chipotle.