Chipotle’s same-store sales rise 10.9% as traffic turns positive

April 26, 2023

CEO Brian Niccol credits transaction growth to changes including running more efficient restaurants, menu innovation and the company’s rewards program. Chipotle released a Fajita Quesadilla and Chicken Al Pastor during the quarter, which helped drive customer traffic. Chipotle’s rewards program also grew to 33 million members during the quarter, driven in part by its Freepotle campaign. This program gives rewards members 10 personalized free rewards throughout the year, Niccol said. 

Operations have also benefited from various initiatives, including Project Square One, which included bringing back in-person training for employees. Chipotle is also changing how labor is deployed on its digital and frontlines during busy times. Previously, managers were pulling employees off the frontline when digital make lines were busy, but that ended up impacting throughput. 

The company is testing smarter pickup times based on sales and deployment levels in different markets. So far, results have shown improved throughput on the frontline without impacting the digital make line. The chain is also extending its test of a new grill that more quickly and consistently cooks chicken and steak to 10 additional restaurants, Niccol said. 

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