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Chipotle same-store sales up nearly 10% as digital sales soar

Digital sales doubled in Q1 to make up 15.7% of sales

Chipotle Mexican Grill reported a near 10% increase in same-store sales for the first quarter, its highest same-stores sales growth in seven quarters.

Leaders of the Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain said various strategies came together in the quarter to account for the 9.9% increase, including momentum for delivery, the introduction of lifestyle bowls and excitement for the new loyalty reward program, which has enrolled 3 million members.

Digital sales, which include delivery, increased 100.7% and accounted for 15.7% of sales for the first quarter ended March 31.  Sales were also driven by a 5.8% increase in transactions.

“We had a lot of things working in unison that are building nicely on top of each other,” CEO Brian Niccol said.

For the quarter, revenue increased 13.9% to $1.3 billion. Net income grew 48.3% to $88.1 million, or $3.13 per share, compared to $59.4 million, or $2.13 per share, in the same quarter last year. 

The company opened 15 restaurants and closed two in the quarter, bringing its total to 2,504 locations.

“The on-going improvement in each of our key operating metrics over the past few quarters gives us confidence that our mission to win today and cultivate the future, is resonating," CEO Brian Niccol said in a statement. "This is the fifth consecutive quarter of accelerating comps, which reinforces our view that when we connect with guests through culturally relevant marketing focused on Chipotle's great taste and real ingredients, and provide more convenient access with less friction, they respond enthusiastically."

Contact Nancy Luna at nancy.luna@knect365.com

Follow her on Twitter @FastFoodMaven

Correction: April 24, 2019
This article has been updated to correct an error in the net income growth figure.
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