US-based Chipotle Mexican Grill, which specialises in made-to-order tacos and Mission burritos, has unveiled plans to grow its footprint in Canada by opening new locations.

The chain will add eight new units in British Columbia and Ontario over the next 12 months, as a part of the expansion plan.

The chain is set to open the first new restaurant in the country since the launch of its Ontario restaurant in 2018.

The new restaurant, which is slated to open on 30 March, will be located in Surrey, British Columbia.

Chipotle currently has 23 restaurants in Canada, located in the greater Toronto and Vancouver metro areas, as well as Ottawa and London, Ontario.

This includes the brand’s drive-thru digital order pickup lane, dubbed Chipotlane, introduced to scale up access and convenience by offering a speedy and seamless guest experience.

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Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung said: “Canada has cleared our stage-gate process, and we are ready to accelerate new restaurant openings.

“We will be experimenting with different location formats and restaurant designs throughout the country to gauge consumer preferences in the various markets.”

Chipotle has invested in digital platforms and delivery partnerships to cater to the growing demand for food delivery in Canada.

Last year, the chain teamed up with Uber Eats to expand its delivery footprint for Canadian guests. It was followed by the roll-out of the Chipotle app.

In January, the chain launched its latest plant-based option, cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, for Canadian customers. Earlier this month, it added its customisable digital entrée, the hand-crafted quesadilla, to the Chipotle app in Canada.

Chipotle Canada managing director Anat Davidzon said: “Given the rising popularity of Chipotle’s real food in Canada, we believe there is a massive growth opportunity in this international market.

“Our team is focused on continuing to find ways to increase access to Chipotle for our Canadian fans.”