Restaurant sales

Restaurant sales rebound at Chipotle

NEWPORT BEACH, CA. — Restaurant sales at the Chipotle Mexican Grill have recovered nearly 80% from pre-pandemic levels, Brian R. Niccol, chief executive, said in a call Oct. 21 to discuss third-party results. trimester.

“While the impacts of COVID will likely linger for a few more quarters, we hope the worst is behind us and society can soon return to a more normal environment,” he said.

Digital orders, the introduction of Smoked Brisket and Chipotlane sales also boosted the Newport Beach-based restaurant chain in the quarter ended Sept. 30. share, in the third quarter of the previous year. Revenue rose 22% to $1.95 billion from $1.6 billion. Restaurant comparable sales increased 15%. Digital sales increased 9% to $840.4 million and accounted for 43% of total sales.

“Currently, about 65% of our customers use the restaurant as their primary access point, nearly 20% use digital as their primary channel, and the remaining 15% to 20% use both channels,” Niccol said. “We are encouraged by this momentum as it provides us with several future opportunities, including the ability to convert more of our restaurant customers into more frequent digital users.”

Thirty-six of the 41 new restaurants opened during the quarter included a Chipotlane, a digital drive-thru ordering lane.

“Our marketing team, our digital team, they continue to drive customers to this access point because it’s very convenient,” Niccol said. “I think, actually, I just saw some numbers on this, where the time between your ordering and having your food ready is now under 10 minutes in our business. So we went even faster in this space to make it even more convenient, and just to give you perspective, a few quarters ago it was in the 12 minute range.

In September, Chipotle launched Smoked Brisket made from responsibly raised beef for use in bowls, burritos, quesadillas and tacos in U.S. and Canadian restaurants for a limited time.

“Early customer feedback on this entry, which is expected to last through November, has been very positive, and we are pleased to see an increase in check and transaction sizes,” said Niccol.

Inflationary pressure in the quarter came from shortages of raw materials and labor costs, not only at Chipotle but also at suppliers, said John R. Hartung, chief financial officer.

“I would say inflation in the quarter wasn’t that bad,” he said. “It was mid-single-digit inflation.”

When dining halls reopened, Chipotle needed new workers to keep up with demand.

“And it was harder than we had hoped, but luckily I think we’ve taken a lot of good steps where we now have a lot of our restaurants on a good footing,” Niccol said.

In the nine months ended Sept. 30, Chipotle earned net income of $519.5 million, or $18.46 per share on common stock, compared to $164.8 million, or $5.91 per share. share, at the same period of the previous year. Total nine-month revenue increased 28% to $5.59 billion from $4.38 billion.