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Chipotle sizzles in Q1; on track to open 255 to 285 new locations in 2023

Chipotle’s new sustainable restaurant design includes rooftop solar panels.
Chipotle reported first-quarter revenue of $2.37 billion.

Chipotle Mexican Grill reported an impressive first quarter amid increased traffic despite higher menu prices. In-restaurant sales rose 22.9% over last year.

The fast-casual chain also confirmed its plans to open between 255 to 285 new restaurants during 2023. It opened 41 new sites during the first quarter, 34 of which featured drive-thru lanes (“Chipotlane”) dedicated to digital order pickup.

These formats continue to perform well and are helping enhance guest access and convenience, as well as increase new restaurant sales, margins, and returns,” the company stated.

Chipotle reported net income of $291.6 million, or $10.50 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, up from $158.3 million, or $5.59 per share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of $8.92 per share. Price hikes in menu items and lower avocado prices helped improve profit margins compared with the year-ago period, the company said.

Revenue rose 17.2%, to $2.37 billion, topping estimates of $2.34 billion. Comparable sales increased 10.9%. Traffic rose roughly 4%. Digital orders accounted for 39.3% of quarterly sales.

Our strong performance in the first quarter confirms that our focus on getting back to the basics and re-establishing Chipotle's standards of excellence is beginning to drive results," said Brian Niccol, chairman and CEO, Chipotle. "We will continue to develop exceptional people and prepare exceptional food while treasuring each guest to further strengthen our foundation for sustained long-term growth."

Looking ahead, Chipotle expects second quarter and full year comparable restaurant sales growth in the mid to high-single digit range.

Earlier this month, the company debuted an all-electric restaurant design to help reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The design, unveiled in two locations with more to come, works to maximize energy efficiency in its equipment and systems and utilizes 100% renewable energy from wind power and solar through the purchase of certified renewable energy credits.

[Read More: Chipotle unveils all-electric, sustainable restaurant design]

Chipotle had over 3,200 restaurants as of March 31, 2023, in the United StatesCanada, the United KingdomFrance and Germany. It is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants. 

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