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How Chipotle’s price increase stacks up in cities around the country

You’ll pay a lot more for a chicken burrito in New York City than in Portland, Ore.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Photo courtesy of Chipotle

Looking for the best deal on a chicken burrito from Chipotle Mexican Grill?

Don’t go to New York City.

The menu price on the common item is higher there than at any other Chipotle location in a major city in the U.S.—and that price has climbed 6.1% in recent weeks, well above the 4% average increase revealed by the chain last week.

That’s according to data from finance firm Raymond James & Associates, which studied Chipotle’s menu prices in the country’s top 25 markets from May 24 until June 7.

The study showed wide fluctuations in Chipotle’s prices and its rate of price increases.

A chicken burrito, for example, in Portland, Ore., was just $7.75, an increase of only 1.3% during the study period.

Pittsburgh and the greater Orlando area were the cheapest spots for a chicken burrito, coming in at $7.35—a 5% price increase from earlier in May.

Chipotle price increases by market

A look at how much the burrito chain increased prices for its chicken and steak burrito by market. 

 

Source: Raymond James & Associates

Menu prices are climbing nationally, particularly at limited-service restaurants.

Chains also deploy varied pricing around the country, depending on the costs of labor, real estate, raw ingredients and more.

A Restaurant Business analysis in March, for example, found diners may pay anywhere from $3.75 for a McDonald’s Big Mac in Austin, Texas, to $6.39 in Seattle.

New York City’s Chipotle prices are nearly the highest across the board, with a steak burrito costing $10.60, chips going for $1.90 and $2.75 for a soft drink.

A carnitas burrito is $10 in the Big Apple, slightly lower than the $10.45 charged in San Francisco, where prices for that item climbed a whopping 10.6% during the survey period.

The chain has promoted the fact that a chicken burrito costs less than $8 in most markets, saying it remains a solid choice for value-minded consumers.

Chipotle blamed rising labor costs on its recent price hike, but has said it is seeing little, if any, customer resistance to the higher charges.

“We really prefer not to take pricing,” Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said last week.

Last month, Chipotle announced it would raise its average hourly pay to $15 by the end of June, up $2 an hour from the current rate. The move comes as the chain is looking to hire 20,000 new employees this year.

Chipotle also launched a $200 employee referral bonus for hourly workers and a $750 referral bonus for apprentices and general managers.

With the pay increase, Chipotle’s starting hourly wages will range from $11 to $18 an hour, the chain said.

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