Chipotle shines when it comes to providing a distinctive atmosphere that complements its mouthwatering burritos. Every sensation is important to the dining process. This means high quality audio is a critical element of the whole Chipotle experience.
Five years ago, Chipotle and technology design firm OneButton were focused on improving the restaurants’ component system to achieve heightened audio performance for customers.
“When we began exploring new options to bring a higher quality audio system into Chipotle locations, Klipsch speakers were on another level compared to previous systems,” said Matt Emmi, founder and CEO of OneButton. “Klipsch Heresy III speakers provide a precise yet powerful and efficient sound. Since they don’t require a subwoofer, they deliver sonic consistency across locations. Ultimately this provides an experience akin to an audiophile’s living room and represents a product that’s been made by hand in America for decades.”
Chipotle reached out to Klipsch’s pro engineer Roy Delgado before the project began to better understand how they could incorporate a retro-style speaker into their commercial environment.
“Chipotle approached us already as big Klipsch fans, especially Heresy III speaker fans and only wanted that speaker installed,” said Delgado. “They initially wanted to mount the speakers, but that would not work with the speaker's design. So I found a cost-effective solution that would require them being embedded into the walls.
All Chipotle restaurants designed since 2009 have an architectural element known throughout the organization as “the box”. This prominent architectural structure houses the beverage station, restrooms and conceals two to four Klipsch Heresy III speakers. The horn midrange, tweeter and conical bass driver are exposed through the wood via an embossed pattern, which follows the geometric lines initiated by drivers.
“We strive to use the architecture of each Chipotle restaurant to enhance the customer experience. We use these architectural elements to highlight the visual connection to the food, reinforce the queue and convey integrity by the use of simple materials used in exceptional ways. We pay close attention to every detail in the environment and that includes the speakers,” notes Mick McConnell, Director of Design for Chipotle.
It’s possible you have noticed that the Heresy III speakers are actually inverted with the woofer at the top. Klipsch systems engineer Trey Cannon explains the reason behind the inversion:
“The speakers may look upside down, but there are things one can do to give a speaker every chance to sound better. In this case, putting the woofer close to the ceiling is ideal. The ceiling provides a corner for the low sounds to reflect from. Like our founder Paul W. Klipsch said, ‘All speakers are corner speakers.’ This also places the mid-range and tweeter closer to the ear of the listener. Someone who cares about sound had a hand in this install.”
Today, our high-performance Heresy III speakers are powering approximately 400 locations and delivering Chipotle’s curated playlists—straight from its own in-house DJ—Christopher Golub, in a way no other speakers can.
The team continues to implement the Klipsch sound signature not only in new Chipotle locations, but also in its ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen and Pizzeria Locale restaurants. Next time you pay one of these delicious spots a visit, take time to enjoy not only the food but also the ambiance created by Klipsch Audio.
Read more Klipsch Install Stories.
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