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Chipotle customers come flocking back for lunchtime burritos despite the chain’s 30-cent price hikes

  • Chipotle sales were up nearly 40% year-on-year at the end of June.
  • Lunchtime diners were returning to the chain as offices reopened, its CEO said.
  • It suggests customers aren’t put off by Chipotle’s June price hikes on burritos and tacos. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Chipotle’s sales surged during the second quarter of 2021 as customers came flocking back to its restaurants despite price hikes on burritos and tacos.

Revenue soared nearly 40% during the most recent quarter versus 2020, when the pandemic first hit and the world came to a stand-still.

Same-store sales at the burrito chain were up 31% this quarter versus the previous quarter.

In a call with investors on Tuesday, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said dine-in sales jumped during this quarter to about 70% of their pre-pandemic levels, driven by lunchtime diners. Digital sales grew 10.5% in the quarter.

“The one thing that is driving some of the bounce back in our dining room business is, we are seeing more business at lunch,” Niccol said. 

“And what’s great about that lunch business is, it’s usually an individual that, frankly, we haven’t seen in a while … as soon as people are given the opportunity to go back to their behaviors of going into their office, dropping their kids off at school, activities, whatever it may be, they’re back to wanting to eat our lunch.”

These sales numbers indicate that Chipotle’s price increases aren’t putting customers off.

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The cost of its burritos and tacos went up around 4% in June to offset the rising cost of ingredients and wage hikes. The average chipotle meal now costs about 30 to 40 cents more, Insider’s Grace Kay previously reported.

Chipotle expects a more challenging third quarter as staff shortages, supply chain delays, and the rising costs of ingredients continue to put pressure on margins, it said.

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