NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is testing technology that will automate some of the operations in its restaurants. An automated digital makeline, recently installed at the company’s test kitchen and design lab, assembles burrito bowls, potentially offering increased capacity and improved speed and accuracy, said Brian R. Niccol, chairman and chief executive officer.

Another tool under development cuts, cores and scoops avocadoes and, Mr. Niccol said, “could save time and eliminate a less favorable task, but still allow for one of their favorite parts of the job, which is to add in chopped onions, jalapenos and cilantro, seasoned with some citrus and salt, and hand mashed or signature guac.”

Both require iterations prior to rolling out to restaurants, Mr. Niccol said, noting the test kitchen team “did a great job of kind of pressure testing all aspects” of a prototype of the automated makeline.

“We learned a lot, right?” he said. “There's work to be done on how you export things. There's work to be done on how you clean it. There's work to be done on how we actually provide portions. And the good news is this is why we use the stage-gate process so that we learn, we iterate and then hopefully, we get to a faster solution. So, I'm excited to see what the next prototype holds, but the team is working on some of those key things that we learned on.”

John R. Hartung, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer, said in the medium or long term he sees the technology as “opportunities for us to try to offset some of the labor inflation.”

The executives detailed the initiatives during an Oct. 26 conference call with securities analysts to discuss third-quarter financial results.

Net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 was $313.22 million, equal to $11.37 per share on the common stock, up 22% from $257.14 million, or $9.26, in the prior-year period. The current quarter included unusual expenses related to corporate restructuring.

Total revenue advanced 11% to $2.47 billion from $2.22 billion the year before.

Comparable restaurant sales increased 5%, driven by higher transactions and an increase in average check.

During the quarter, the company opened 62 new restaurants, including 54 locations with a Chipotlane drive-thru pickup option.

Net income for the nine-month period was $946.65 million, equal to $34.31 per share, up 41% from $675.37 million, or $24.20 per share, in the comparable period. Total revenue increased 14% to $7.36 billion from $6.45 billion.