Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) operates a major restaurant chain serving fast-casual Mexican food, including burritos, tacos, bowls, and similar dishes. The company operated 2,724 domestic locations and 40 international locations as of December 31, 2020. Chipotle's primary competitors include both fast food chains such as Taco Bell and other brands affiliated with Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM), as well as fast-casual restaurants such as Qdoba Mexican Eats and other restaurants in close proximity to Chipotle locations.

Key Takeaways

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill operates a chain of more than 2,700 fast-casual Mexican restaurants.
  • The chain's stores are located primarily in the U.S., with a small number of international locations, including a stake in an entity operating four pizza restaurants.
  • COVID-19 has adversely impacted the company's business.
  • Digital sales are growing quickly and accounted for 46.2% of total revenue in FY 2020.
  • Chipotle is testing a new car-side pickup service at 29 locations in California.

Chipotle's Financials

The COVID-19 pandemic and related social-distancing measures had an adverse impact on Chipotle's business during its 2020 fiscal year (FY), which ended December 31, 2020. Net income for the year was $355.8 million, rising just 1.6% compared to FY 2019. Revenue grew 7.1% to $6.0 billion.

Chipotle indicated that it had to temporarily close some of its restaurants in response to the pandemic. While the majority of its restaurants have been reopened, they are operating with restrictions such as social distancing and mask requirements. Some restaurants are only offering take-out, digital order and delivery services.

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Chipotle had been growing rapidly. Revenue rose 24.8% from FY 2017 to FY 2019. Net income rose 98.3% during FY 2019. That growth marks a sharp financial and operational turnaround after sales and profits plunged in 2016 and 2017 due to customer illnesses caused by E. coli bacteria at Chipotle restaurants in as many as 12 states.

Chipotle's Business Segments

Chipotle operates as a single segment and divides its operations across eight regions. Chipotle does not report individual financial figures for its eight regions. But the company has been extending its reach through several measures.

Chipotle's digital sales through delivery and customer pickup have surged in recent years. Advertising campaigns, new delivery partnerships with Uber, and other measures have helped increase awareness about the company's digital offerings. However, the acceleration of digital sales growth to 174.1% in FY 2020 has been aided by the impacts of the pandemic. Digital sales accounted for 46.2% of total sales during the year, compared to just 10.9% in 2019.

Chipotle also is expanding its store footprint in the U.S. and abroad. The company added 161 locations in FY 2020. Of these newly-opened restaurants, 100 included a drive-through format that the company calls "Chipotlane". Nine locations were permanently closed. For Chipotle's already-established restaurants, comparable restaurant sales rose 1.8% in FY 2020 compared to the previous year.

Chipotle's Recent Developments

On January 28, 2021, Chipotle announced that it was testing car-side pickup at 29 of its restaurants in California. The service, named Chipotle Carside, will allow customers to order from a Chipotle restaurant using the company's app and have the order delivered to their parked car. The aim is to provide a more convenient pickup service to customers.

How Chipotle Reports Diversity & Inclusiveness

As part of our effort to improve the awareness of the importance of diversity in companies, we offer investors a glimpse into the transparency of Chipotle and its commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and social responsibility. We examined the data Chipotle releases. It shows Chipotle does not disclose any data about the diversity of its board of directors, C-Suite, general management, and employees overall. It also shows Chipotle does not reveal the diversity of itself by race, gender, ability, veteran status, or LGBTQ+ identity.