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FOOD SERVICES | Staff Reporter, UK

Chipotle's restaurant sales increased 6.4%

The result is an increase in the average check, including a 2.4% impact from menu price hikes.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. has reported the financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. The brand's revenue increased 14.7% to $4.5 billion, whilst its comparable restaurant sales rose by 6.4%. It reported a $176.3 million net income, an increase from 2016's net income of $22.9 million. It opened 183 new restaurants and closed or relocated 25, including 15 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen Restaurants

“During 2017, we have made considerable changes around leadership, operations, and long-term planning and it is clear that, while there is still work to be done, we are starting to see some success,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and chief executive officer.

“2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Chipotle, and I am encouraged by the dedication all of our guests and employees have to this brand. Our focus this year will be to continue perfecting the dining experience, enhancing the guest experience through innovations in digital and catering, and reinvesting in our restaurants. We are making good progress on our search for a new CEO who can improve execution, drive sales and enable Chipotle to realize our enormous potential.”

The revenue for the quarter was $1.1 billion, an increase of 7.3% from the fourth quarter of 2016. The increase in revenue was driven by new restaurant openings and to a lesser extent by a 0.9% increase in comparable restaurant sales. Comparable restaurant sales increased as a result of an increase in the average check, including a 2.4% impact from menu price increases taken in select restaurants during the second and fourth quarters of 2017, partially offset by a decrease in transactions. Chipotle has opened 38 new restaurants during the quarter, and relocated or closed four restaurants, bringing the total restaurant count to 2,408.

For 2018, the management is expecting comparable restaurant sales to increase in the low single digits, as well as the expansion to 130 to 150 new restaurants. 

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