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Ted's new downtown store to include digital speed tweaks

The downtown location of Ted’s Hot Dogs will harness digital technology to get hot dogs into customers’ hands faster.

The restaurant, at 124 W. Chippewa St., is about half built, said Ted’s CEO Joe Drust. “We hope to open up the first or second week of November,” he said, “pending no other delays.”

To cater to the downtown lunchtime crowd, Ted’s is installing an order-over-the-Internet system similar to Chipotle. Customers can order over computer or phone. If they give the website their credit card, they can get their food swiftly, Drust said. “Walk in, grab the bag, confirm who they are, and walk out.”

Another speed tweak for the downtown location will be the addition of a tablet-wielding order-taker in the customer line, Drust said. That change will allow dogs to hit the grill even faster than waiting to talk to the grill worker, which has been the Ted’s standard.

Those innovations will be only at the downtown location, for now, said Drust.

Work will also continue on a patio that wraps around the building to the parking lot, on the other side of the building from Chippewa. In an homage to Ted’s birthplace under the Peace Bridge, the patio railing design has been inspired by the Peace Bridge design, Drust noted.

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