Chipotle 3Q same-store sales decline 21.9%

Comparisons improve from steeper declines earlier in year

Third-quarter same-store sales at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. fell 21.9 percent, improving slightly from steeper declines earlier in the year, the company said Tuesday.
The Denver-based fast-casual operator, which suffered several food-borne illness outbreaks in late 2015, said same-store transactions were down 15.2 percent in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30.
The same-store sales decline of 21.9 percent included a 0.8 percent revenue deferral related to unredeemed awards from the brand’s Chiptopia loyalty-program.
Same-store sales had declined 23.6 percent in the second quarter that ended June 30, which included a 19.3-percent fall off in transactions, and the same measure dropped nearly 30 percent in the first quarter.
"Our restaurant teams are very excited to see more customers return to their restaurants, and are working hard to reward them with an excellent guest experience,” said Monty Moran, co-CEO of Chipotle, in a statement.
“After successfully implementing an industry leading food safety program, and as our marketing efforts are driving more people to our restaurants, it is critical that we are prepared to delight customers on every visit,” Moran said.
Net income in the third quarter fell to $7.8 million, or 27 cents a share, from $144.9 million, or $4.59 a share, in the same quarter last year. The company took a $14.5 million pretax impairment charge related to ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen and a $11.5 million pretax revenue deferral related to the Chiptopia program.
Revenue in the third quarter declined 14.8 percent, to $1 billion from $1.2 billion in the prior-year period.
Chipotle said the monthly same-store sales declines have improved since January, when they were down 36.4 percent. In guidance for the fourth quarter, management said it expected same-store declines “in the low single digits.”
Chipotle has 2,178 restaurants, including 27 Chipotle restaurants outside the U.S. and 15 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants. The company also holds an investment in seven Pizzeria Locale restaurants.
Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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