Chipotle raised prices across the board, hurting the south most, NY the least. Here's how much.

1 week ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Trends

You may recall that we have a thing for tracking the price of burrito bowls here at Thinknum Media. So when we saw that Chipotle Mexican Grill reported better-than-expected numbers to Wall Street last week, we dove deep into the data to reveal just how they did it.

Note: people in South Carolina will not be happy with the results.

Despite slowing foot traffic and a search for a new CEO, Chipotle Mexican Grill reported a 7.3% rise in revenue for $1.11 billion last week. In-store sales rose 0.9 percent for the quarter as well. This all beat Wall Street Expectations. The company attributes these positive numbers to price hikes of between 5 and 7 percent, the most recent of which were made in January.

The price hikes were indeed real, as you can see below in our burrito index.

When looking at average price of all items for all Chipotle stores over the past quarter, we see a jump in pricing on January 16. Average cost of all items moved from $4.36 on January 16 to $4.42 by January 18 before settling in at $4.43 (an increase on average of 6 cents) by the end of the month. This is in line with their planned - and announced - price jump for that month.

Burrito Bowls - arguably the only thing on the menu at Chipotle Mexican Grill, saw a similar jump at exactly the same time, starting at an average of $5.93 on January 16 and landing at $6.05 (a jump of 12 cents) by the 31st.

Price increases of a few cents may not seem like much, but when we look at the top-priced items at the chain - typically the barbacoa beef burrito bowls - we see a price jump of 30 cents, from $9.60 to $9.90.

As for who got hurt the most from this price index, look no further than southern states where, if you recall, previously enjoyed the cheapest Chipotle prices. For instance, as you can see above, average menu prices in South Carolina went up a healthy 28 cents, from $5.58 to $5.86.

For those in New York who were already paying max price for Chipotle, your average menu item price only increased 4 cents. On an average day in New York City, one can find 4 cents on the sidewalk. So, for now New Yorkers, rest easy and get in line. Or not. Because you can order online and not stand in line. Who stands in line anymore, seriously?

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes about tech and lifestyle for the Wall Street Journal. You can find him on twitter at @fruhlinger

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