Why Your Chipotle Order Could Soon Be More Expensive

Back in June of 2021, people were upset when Chipotle raised its prices in order to accommodate higher wages for its workers, per CNBC. At the time, CFO Jack Hartung stated that passing on these expenses to customers made sense, and the chain was not planning to raise menu costs more due to steadily increasing ingredient prices. That changed in October of last year, when Chipotle once again raised menu prices as a way to mitigate inflation (via Fox Business). "Higher food, labor, and freight costs" were some of the reasons behind the decision.

Now, it looks like Chipotle may have yet more plans to bump up its prices. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Tex-Mex chain has pulled in significant profits from previous price increases and plans to use the funds to build up to 250 new locations in 2022. The chain's desire for expansion, as well as still-rising labor and ingredient costs, may motivate price changes in the next few months. "I just don't see the inflation, unfortunately, going away anytime soon,"  Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol told the publication.

Chipotle's rising prices don't seem to be deterring sales

Though customers have complained about rising prices at Chipotle, they don't seem to be ordering less food or visiting the chain less frequently. According to The Wall Street Journal, Chipotle's menu prices are now 10% higher than they were in 2021, and yet sales have increased by more than 15% in the last 12 months. These numbers are encouraging the company to expand to more locations than previously planned.

Additionally, Chipotle has started to attract more workers due to its wage increases, which have contributed to higher menu prices, and come up with a plan to emphasize drive-thru and digital orders at future restaurants. In a press release, the chain predicted further financial gains in the first quarter of 2022. While executives haven't yet guaranteed a menu price hike, it sounds they're likely to instate one to help meet these goals.