Chipotle digital sales jump 134% as customers order ahead through 'Chipotlanes'

New menu offerings and drive-thru pick up options bolster burrito business

Chipotle's business is booming as the burrito chain's digital sales jumped 133.9%, with online orders overtaking orders made inside its restaurants for the first time ever.

The company credited its growth to government stimulus checks providing consumers with additional spending money and an increase in orders placed ahead of time through its "Chipotlane" drive-thru service. The chain opened 40 new locations in the quarter, more than half of which included the drive-thru lanes to pick up digital orders.

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Digital sales accounted for a little more than half of Chipotle's total $1.7 billion in revenue during the quarter, a 24% increase compared to the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, the company saw a 17.2% increase in comparable restaurant sales, boosted by several new menu additions, including quesadillas and cauliflower rice.  

Overall, Chipotle posted net income of $127.1 million, or $4.45 per share, compared to $76.4 million, or $2.70 per share, a year ago. Excluding closure costs, restructuring expenses and other items, the company earned an adjusted net income of $153.1 million, or $5.36 per share.

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Looking ahead at the second quarter, Chipotle expects comparable restaurant sales to be in the range of 20 to 30%. Given ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19, Chipotle did not provide fiscal 2021 comparable restaurant sales growth guidance.

While other chains have been forced to close dozens of locations due to the pandemic, Chipotle said it closed only five stores during the quarter, bringing its total to 2,803 locations. Chipotle anticipates about 200 new restaurant openings in 2021, assuming minimal construction and permit delays related to COVID-19. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CMG CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC. 1,353.77 +27.58 +2.08%

Chipotle also repurchased $61.2 million worth of its common stock during the quarter, at an average price of $1,425. Shares of the company rose 0.4% in after-hours trading following the earnings announcement.