Chipotle CEO: Inflation has been ‘unavoidable’

Brian Niccol said 'costs have definitely gone up' over the last six to 12 months

Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO said inflation has been "unavoidable," on the heels of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) hitting a new 40-year high. 

"Everybody in the industry and frankly, all of our customers across… every element that they purchase, they've experienced higher costs,"  Brian Niccol told "Fox & Friends," Tuesday. 

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index – which measures a bevy of goods including gasoline, health care, groceries and rents – rose 8.5% in March from a year ago, the fastest pace since December 1981, when inflation hit 8.9%. Prices jumped 1.2% in the one-month period from February, the largest month-to-month jump since 2005.


"Fortunately," he noted, the fast-food restaurant has not been impacted by supply chain issues, but "costs have definitely gone up" over the last six to 12 months. 

While the fast-casual Mexican food chain has been forced to hike prices three times since August 2020, the CEO noted that it has also resulted in finding ways to "just be more efficient." 

The comment comes as the company recently announced a partnership with Miso Robotics to test a chip-making robot to offset the impact of the labor shortage. 

Chipotle CEO reacted to inflation hitting a new 40-year high in March on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Niccol went on to say he hopes to "keep out the inflation from the business, but it's been unavoidable."

FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.