Chipotle Hikes Menu Prices as Inflation Looms


Chris Campbell, The Food Institute

Jun 9, 2021


Chipotle Mexican Grill isn’t just boosting wages for its workers; it’s also increasing menu prices by nearly 4% to cover those raises.


That’s according to a CNBC report which noted the company will be bringing average wages to $15 an hour by the end of June. Company executives said recently that the menu price increases were linked to the wage initiative.


“It feels like the right thing, at the right time, and it feels like the industry is now going to have to either do something similar or play some kind of catch-up,” CFO Jack Hartung said at a recent industry conference. “Otherwise you’ll just lose the staffing gain.”


In addition to the increased costs associated with rising wages, the company is contending with industry-wide headwinds towards higher prices. Restaurant operators are dealing with returning (and sometimes inconsistent) demand after a challenging pandemic year, and distribution of supplies has been erratic as operations ramp up.


CEO Brian Niccol said the company doesn’t like to raise prices, and didn’t plan to increase prices further. However, Hartung hedged the bet.


“Ingredient costs, there’s talk about it. We’ll see where that leads,” Hartung said.


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