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Chipotle will start delivering to 40 college campuses this fall | News

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Chipotle will start delivering to 40 college campuses this fall

A perennial Millennial favorite food chain, Chipotle is endearing itself to its legion of young fans this fall by delivering burritos straight to college classrooms.

Chipotle has partnered with Tapingo, a food-delivery app specifically for the college market, to deliver its burritos, bowls and other menu items to 40 college campuses, the fast-casual chain said Tuesday. It will expand to more than 100 campuses by spring.

Chipotle started offering delivery to broader markets earlier this year as part of partnerships with the services Postmates and OrderUp, but this is its first college-specific initiative. Delivery is already available at six schools, including Arizona State University and the University of Southern California, with plans to expand throughout the fall.

Several local colleges, including the University of Maryland and Towson University, are among the universities that will have delivery available later in the fall. The full list of schools can be found here

Chipotle said the delivery option is about staying connected with younger consumers. "Chipotle has been popular with students going back to our very first restaurant near the University of Denver, and we are always looking for ways to better engage with them,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer at Chipotle, in a statement.

Even struggling fast-food chain McDonald's is trying to pick up business with a delivery test in New York City that started in May. Customers can order from 88 locations through the Postmates app or online. And Taco Bell started testing delivery from 200 locations in July with the service DoorDash, also available via an app or the delivery company's website.

Given the intense competition for customers, the expansion of delivery options "makes complete sense," says Jack Russo, an analyst with Edward Jones. "It will be available at all restaurant chains sooner rather than later."

The number of visits to restaurants has been flat or declining for several years, according to a report out in June from The NPD Group, a trend that's especially pronounced among younger consumers. Those ages 18 to 24 made 33 fewer visits per person per year in 2014 compared with 2007, before the recession, NPD said. And those 25-34 have cut down the most on eating out, making 50 fewer visits per person per year in the same time period.