DENVER – Chipotle Mexican Grill has continued its green theme with a plan to introduce solar panels at approximately 75 Chipotle restaurants during the next year.
“Our effort to change the way people think about and eat fast food began with our commitment to serving food made with ingredients from more sustainable sources, and that same kind of thinking now influences all areas of our business,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Today, we’re following a similar path in the way we design and build restaurants, looking for more environmentally friendly building materials and systems that make our restaurants more efficient.”
In a company press release, the chain is credited as being the largest direct producer of solar energy in the restaurant industry with the introduction of the panels, which will produce 500 kilowatt hours of electricity. The goal is to reduce the restaurant’s traditional energy consumption during the peak hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., when the strain on the energy grid is the greatest.
Installations are in progress at Chipotle’s locations in select cities, including Denver, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Appropriate sites are chosen based on a formula that includes a restaurant’s electricity consumption, local utility solar rebates and its access to direct sunlight.