Chipotle: America’s Love for Burritos Brings All-Time Highs – The Average Joe
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    Chipotle: America’s Love for Burritos Brings All-Time Highs

    victorlei

    April 26, 2023

    Americans love burritos. So much so that it took the number one spot on Grubhub’s most-ordered items last year.

    The avocado-hungry Chipotle — which buys nearly 5% of the global supply — broke new highs after crushing their earnings report:

    • Sales grew 17% in the first quarter — with help from a 10% menu price increase and a 4% increase in traffic.
    • Expects to open 255-285 restaurants in 2023 with a long-term goal of opening 7K total.

    Investors can also thank that delicious limited-time Chicken al Pastor.

    Chipotle’s growth came at Taco Bell’s expense

    Store growth since 2010: Chipotle (1084 → 3187) vs. Taco Bell (5.9K → 8.2K)

    2022 revenue per store: Chipotle ($2.7M) vs. Taco Bell ($1.7M)

    Not even a close fight. Since 2010, Chipotle has nearly tripled its restaurant count — and now they’re going after small towns (40K+ residents) to accelerate their growth.

    Like McDonald’s and Starbucks, Chipotle went digital early, with 40% of its sales coming digitally last quarter — vs. McDonald’s 35%. How are they doing it?

    • Strong rewards program, which had 31.6M members last year — rivaling Starbucks’ 27.4M.
    • Experimenting with digital-only restaurants and robotic arms in its kitchen.

    First electric vehicles, then electric restaurants

    Drive-thrus have been a big part of Chipotle’s digital strategy — which wants 90% of its new restaurants to include a drive-thru (aka Chipotlane). And it doesn’t stop there:

    • Chipotle is piloting three all-electric restaurants as part of plans to reduce gas emissions by 50% by 2030.
    • Next year, they want the electric designs to be part of 100 new restaurants in 2024.

    Unlike Taco Bell or McDonald’s, Chipotle doesn’t franchise stores — making it easier to incorporate new changes.

    Another one: McDonald’s is also at all-time highs, but here’s a big risk to watch for.

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