Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. continued its industry-busting performance in the Sept. 30-ended third quarter, with net income soaring nearly 57 percent.
The Denver-based fast-casual operator’s same-store sales increased 19.8 percent during the quarter, which the company attributed primarily to traffic and an increase in average check that included the benefits of a systemwide menu price increase that rolled out at the end of the second quarter. Revenue topped $1 billion.
Chipotle founder and co-chief executive Steve Ells credited the company’s relentless focus on changing the way people think about and eat fast food, as well as its growing top performers from within.
“The way we source, prepare and serve our food; the way we hire, develop and empower our people; and the way we operate our business is very different than the traditional fast-food model,” Ells said in a statement. “Recent industry trends suggest the Chipotle model is resonating with customers who are realizing there are better alternatives to traditional fast food.”
Chipotle ended the quarter with 1,724 restaurants, averaging about $2.4 million in sales.
The company reiterated its outlook for opening 180 to 195 restaurants in fiscal 2014, with same-store sales rising in the mid-teens for the full year.
In 2015, the company expects to open 190 to 205 new restaurants, and projects same-store sales to be in the low- to mid-single-digits.
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