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Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle to Hike Prices As Beef, Avocado Prices Rise

Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) is raising prices across its menu of Mexican-style food for the first time in three years, after a surge in beef and avocado prices lifted food costs in the first quarter.During a conference call with analysts on Thursday, chief financial officer Jack Hartung said Chipotle will start increasing menu prices in the mid-single-digits by the end of the current quarter.The Denver-based restaurant chain reported first-quarter earnings that rose 8.5%. However, food costs were 34.5% of revenue, up from 33% a year ago, as inflationary pressures in beef, avocados and cheese drove commodity expenses higher.Retail beef prices hit a 27-year high in February at an average of $5.28 per pound , according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Analysts have said a short supply of domestic cattle and continued export demand are contributing to the increase.Chipotle's steak costs are up 25% since the end of last year. The company has yet to see an increase in pork prices due to a wide...

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