Chipotle’s growth plan: Fill your face with burritos via online orders

Chipotle had a big year, with an assist from its cleverly-named drive-thrus (Chipotlanes)


February 7, 2021

That absurd time Matt Stonie ate 5 Chipotle burritos in < 4 minutes (Source: YouTube)

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Full disclosure: It’s much more fun to read earnings reports when they attribute an increase in sales to “carne asada.”

Chipotle reported earnings this week, and while many restaurants continue to struggle (110k+ eateries in the US have shuttered), let’s just say Chipotle’s been making that avocadough.

Chipotle missed expectations but did well across the board

The stock dipped after Chipotle reported an earnings per share (EPS) miss. Even so, full-year revenue reached $6B, up +7% from 2019.

And here’s the juicy stat: Online sales jumped 174%, comprising 46% of total sales and helping boost same-store sales by 5% in Q4.

Chipotle announced plans to open 200+ new locations in 2021, up from 161 added last year and giving it an army of burrito-slinging centers 3k strong. To keep up, the company plans to hire 15k employees on top of its current 94k.

Chipotle’s focus shifted to online ordering…

… and it’s doubling down on “Chipotlanes,” drive-thru lanes where customers can pick up their online orders.

In 2021, 70% of new locations will have Chipotlanes, up from 62% last year. Chipotle will also experiment with digital-only, pickup-friendly stores.

Online sales funnel through Chipotle’s digital rewards program — which sports 19.5m members — and its app, which grew by 10m users in 2020.

Great — now it’s 8am and we’re hungry for tacos.

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