Chipotle stock hits a record

The burrito chain hit an all-time high of $759 as its shares recover from the aftermath of 2015 foodborne illness outbreaks.
Photograph courtesy of Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill stock briefly hit a record high Monday, signaling a return to fiscal health after a downward spiral that began four years ago amid widespread reports of foodborne illness across the burrito chain.

Chipotle traded at $759 a share for a period Monday, an all-time high, and a tremendous boost from a low of $255 in early 2018. The stock had previously peaked at $758 a share during midday trading in August 2015.

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based fast-casual chain began its turnaround in earnest with the hiring of former Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol as CEO in February 2018, replacing Chipotle’s fonder, Steve Ells.

Niccol has brought a new focus on technology and marketing to the chain to drive traffic, adding ordering kiosks, digital-order pickup areas and new menu items.

The company’s same-store sales rose 9.9% in the quarter ended March 31, with digital sales doubling during the period to 15.7% of total sales.

Traffic during the first quarter jumped 5.8%, showing that customers will respond when you “provide more convenient access with less friction,” Niccol said during a call with investors in April.

Chipotle leads the pack among the year’s best-performing restaurant stocks, with shares up 75%. Restaurant stocks as a whole are up 11% for the year, according to a Restaurant Businessanalysis.

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.


Exclusive Content


Wendy's, whose chairman is an activist, may be getting an activist

The Bottom Line: Activist investor Blackwells apparently plans to nominate “several directors” to the burger chain’s board, according to Reuters.


Yes, there is such a thing as too fast in the quick-service world

The Bottom Line: In a world of digital orders and drive-thrus, friendly service actually matters more than speed.


BK franchisee Carrols goes from tragedy to triumph

The big Burger King franchisee has overcome a pandemic, inflation, questions about its future and the death of multiple executives to become the industry’s best turnaround story of 2023.


More from our partners