US fast food chain Chipotle on Wednesday announced it planned to expand its drive-thru lanes and hire as many as 10,000 new employees.

Chipotle, known for its tacos and burritos, first introduced drive-thru lanes in 2018, and has so far opened 100 as the method of ordering becomes both increasingly popular and necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the company said it plans to include the lanes, known as Chipotlanes, in 60 percent of its new restaurants and hire up to 10,000 employees to staff them.

"With a dedicated team and kitchen devoted to digital orders, we need to continue to grow our workforce to support the increasing demand, especially in locations featuring a Chipotlane."

The company said it saw digital sales grow 80 percent in the first quarter despite business lockdowns to stop the transmission of coronavirus.

Drive-thru service is well-established at fast food restaurants.

At McDonald's, 75 percent of its restaurants offer such an option, which along with deliveries helped the chain through the early months of the pandemic, CEO Chris Kempczinski said at a conference in June.