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Chipotle opens Lathrop location with drive-thru off I-5 at Louise Avenue

Lathrop is on the cutting edge of both digital dining and the lasting changes COVID-19 may have on a large sector of the restaurant business.

Chipotle has opened its second drive-thru location designed for picking up digital orders only  in Northern California in Lathrop at the Target shopping center on the southwest corner of the Interstate 5 and Louise Avenue interchange. The first location opened in West Sacramento in late November.

Hours are 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The pandemic has triggered an 80 percent growth in digital sales for Chipotle.

Unlike conventional drive thru lane, the casual dining chain’s version dubbed “Chipotlane” cannot be used to order food.  Instead you use the firm’s app — or the Chipotle corporate website — to place your order and then drive to the mobile order pickup lane. You do not have to leave your car like you do at the Manteca location to go inside to pick up your order.

Chipotle locations with the order pickup lane have a second “make” line to fill digital orders.

That means the stores with a Chipotlane hire 50 percent more employees than a traditional location.

Chipotle is still hiring for their new Lathrop store as well as existing San Joaquin County locations including two in Lodi, two in Stockton, and one in Tracy.

In July the company announced plans to hire 10,000 more people due to their plans to add 150 stores by mid-2021 plus a significant increase in business at their existing locations due to shifting dining habits created by the pandemic.

Incentives offered to their employees include a crew bonus with the opportunity to earn an extra month’s worth of pay each year, a debt-free college degree program as well as and English as a second language, and access to mental healthcare for employees and their families. More details are at

The Newport Beach-based corporation has 428 locations in California, the most of any state. The second highest state for stores is Texas with 238. At the end of 2019 there were 2,622 locations with almost all in the United States. Other countries with stores are the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email