Chipotle’s Comparable Sales Growth (2016-2021)

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This statistic highlights Chipotle’s Comparable Sales Growth from 2016 onwards, reported on a quarterly basis.
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This statistic highlights Chipotle’s Comparable Sales Growth from 2016 onwards, reported on a quarterly basis.

Chipotle is an American-origin restaurant chain that is serving a simple menu of Mexican cuisine. The company is renowned for its brand as well as the marketing of “Food With Integrity.” In 2001, Chipotle published a mission statement entitled “Food With Integrity”. This indicates Chipotle’s efforts to increase the use of naturally grown meats, organic produce, and dairy products without the addition of hormones. Its brand value and commitment is to offer fresh meal items and handpick its ingredients from ethical suppliers. The company has also developed a portfolio of subsidiary brands, such as Pizzeria Locale, ShopHouse Kitchen, and Tasty Made.

What is Comparable Sales Growth?

Comparable Store Sales Growth refers to a company’s or a division’s same-store net sales growth for the performance period over the prior year, or in other words, Comparable Store Sales Growth refers to a company’s or a division’s same-store net sales growth for the fiscal year over the prior year, or for the performance period at the Committee’s sole discretion. Comparable sales growth is calculated by subtracting previous year’s sales from the performance period’s sales, and then dividing this amount by the previous year’s sales.

Chipotle’s Comparable Sales Growth 

Q4 2019 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2020 Q1 2021 Q2 2021 Q3 2021
Comparable Sales Growth (%) 13.5 3.3 -9.8 8.3 5.7 17.2 31.2 15.1

(All figures are in percentages)

Chipotle’s Mexican Grill’s comparable sales growth witnessed a huge improvement over 5 years, increasing from -29.70% in Q1 2016 to 17.20% in Q1 2021. It showed an upward trend from the negative sales growth rate of 29.7% in Q1 2016 to positive double-digit sales growth of 15.1% in Q3 2021. However, this was followed by a huge downfall of about 75.56% as Sales Growth declined from 13.5% in Q4 2019 to 3.3% in the first quarter of 2020. This decline further continues in Q2 2020 as sales growth drops to -9.8%. This indicates a tremendous fall of 397% in Q2 2020 from Q1 2020. This is followed by a huge recovery as the sales growth rate stood at 8.3% in Q3 2020 as compared to the negative sales growth rate of 9.8% in Q2 2020.

However, the sales again dropped from 8.3% in Q3 2020 to 5.7%in Q4 2020, resulting in a decrease in sales growth by 31.32%. But from Q4 2020 onwards, the sales growth rate has been on a constant rise till Q2 2021, showing an increase of  201.75% between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. There has been a fall in the comparable sales growth from 31.2% in Q2 2021 to 15.1% in Q3 2021, which accounts for 51.60% of the decline.

From the above data, the following analysis can be drawn: Chipotle’s sales growth rate has been highly unstable as recent trends suggest the downfall has been followed by an increase in sales growth rate. The main factor contributing to the improvement in Q3 2020 was driven by leverage from comparable restaurant sales that includes menu price increase.

About the Company

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is often known by the name Chipotle. Established in Newport Beach, California, it is an American chain offering fast-casual restaurants in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France. Its specialties extend to tacos and Mission Burritos. As of October 2014, Chipotle had 17 locations outside the United States, most of which were in Canada, and the United Kingdom was in the process of opening more. All restaurants operate under the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system in the United States and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This identifies food safety risks in the system and takes corrective action as necessary.

Founded in 1933 by Steve Ells, this food giant is spread across more than 2,000 locations. This company has a net income of US $475.6 million and a huge staff of more than 45,000 employees as of 2015. One of the first national restaurant brands to address local and organic goals. It is the first national restaurant brand that promises to use only responsibly grown meat, with some of the highest animal welfare standards. Chipotle’s menu comprises of  burritos, bowls, tacos, quesadillas, and salads. Additional optional toppings are provided to the customers at no extra cost. The menu of toppings extends to rice, beans, sour cream, cheese,  four varieties of salsa, and lettuce. The common stock of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc is traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “CMG” and is a component of the S&P 500.

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