Chipotle Is Probably Going to Get More Expensive Very Soon
If you’ve been feeling the squeeze at the Chipotle register in recent years, you aren’t alone. Prices at the popular fast food chain have been steadily increasing, and the company’s executives just indicated that that trend isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung explained the current financial standings in a Feb. 6 earnings call and confirmed that prices will be going up in the first quarter of 2024. By how much, however, remains to be seen. The company is looking at a jump of between 2.5 and 3 percent and is still figuring out whether to hike prices just enough to break even or a little more to maintain profits.
“We haven’t decided within that range,” Hartung stated, per Eat This, Not That. “We’ll wait and see just what the landscape looks like, what the consumer sentiment is, [and] what other companies are going to do.”
The move is the latest price increase that the chain has implemented to offset what it says are higher operating costs and inflation. The company raised prices nearly four percent in June 2021, and in October 2022 it revealed that its prices had risen approximately 13 percent compared to a year prior.
The price hike isn’t for lack of customers. In fact, the chain has been thriving. It raked in nearly $10 billion in total revenue in 2023, marking a 14.3 percent increase from 2022. Stores saw a roughly eight percent increase in sales, and the number of brick-and-mortar locations increased by almost 300 to a total store count of 3,437 by year’s end. “Clearly, the brand is resonating in a meaningful way,” Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said on the latest earnings call.
At this rate, it might be cheaper to make your own guac at home.