Chipotle reveals the damage: 29 percent drop in comps

chipotle sign

The food safety crises of late 2015 continued to wallop Chipotle during the first quarter, driving down comparable-restaurant sales by 29.7 percent and dropping transactions by 21.1 percent.

The declines left Chipotle with a net loss of $26.4 million on a 23.4 percent decline in revenues, to $834.5 million. The fast-casual chain posted a net profit of $122.6 million for the same period of 2015.

Restaurant-level margins fell to 6.8 percent, from a year-earlier level of 27.5 percent.

Chipotle had warned of a same-store sales decline in the neighborhood of 30 percent.

Co-CEO Steve Ells voiced guarded optimism. “As our sales are on a gradual path to recovery, we remain focused on our mission of changing the way people think about and eat fast food. The best approach to re-building our business is to proudly serve safe and delicious food in our high-quality restaurants every single day, which is exactly what we will continue to do.”

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

Crumbl may be the next frozen yogurt, or the next Krispy Kreme

The Bottom Line: With word that the chain’s unit volumes took a nosedive last year, its future, and that of its operators, depends on what the brand does next.

Technology

4 things we learned in a wild week for restaurant tech

Tech Check: If you blinked, you may have missed three funding rounds, two acquisitions, a “never-before-seen” new product and a bold executive poaching. Let’s get caught up.

Financing

High restaurant menu prices mean high customer expectations

The Bottom Line: Diners are paying high prices to eat out at all kinds of restaurants these days. And they’re picking winners and losers.

Trending

More from our partners