The Real Reason People Are Upset About Chipotle's Price Increase

As times change, the future looks brighter and brighter for anyone working in restaurants. Thanks to efforts across the country, restaurant workers have fought for the chance to bump up their minimum hourly wage to $15 (via The Guardian). Critics of this initiative claim that the jump in salaries spells doom for menu prices and that consumers should expect food prices to go up as well. While this issue affects restaurants on a case-by-case basis, Chipotle is making a major shift. The chain recently raised its prices by 4% to cover the shifting payscale, as NBC reported. This means that while workers at Chipotle should receive an average base pay of $15, you can expect the menu prices to slightly rise. Prior to the jump in wages, Chipotle workers typically made around $12 per hour, with some raking in as little as $9.63, according to Payscale.

This jump in price has people upset due to the fact that Chipotle claims that they raised prices to compensate for paying their employees more. Social media strongly disagreed, with commenters on Twitter replying: "CEO of Chipotle Brian R. Niccol's $38 million 2020 income, roughly a 136% raise from 2019. That's also 2,898 times more than the average Chipotle employee earns. So there's that." Another post claimed, "No, Chipotle Mexican Grill has hiked menu prices by roughly 4% to cover the cost of the CEO's $22 million bonus last year."

The net worth of Chipotle's CEO

Brian Niccol, the CEO of Chipotle, hasn't seen a major loss in his own wages. According to Execpay, the CEO ended 2019 making $16 million, while entering 2021 with a net worth of $72.6 million (via Wallmine). The rage that Twitter aimed at the executive only deepened due to the fact that Niccol received a $23 million bonus in 2020, per Newsweek. With numbers this drastic, the wage disparity easily has the internet up in arms.

If you love eating at Chipotle, make sure to expect a slight increase in prices over the next few days. This slight price jump shouldn't make the dining experience any less enjoyable and theoretically goes towards providing a living wage to its employers. With any luck, Chipotle will address the root cause of the unrest found on social media and can ensure fair pay to all of its employees.