Chipotle Is Raising Prices So It Can Pay Its Employees More
Chipotle is getting more expensive, but for good reason.
Guac has always been extra at Chipotle, but customers will find that they have to dig even deeper into their pockets the next time they visit the chain, as it has raised prices across the menu.
Before you get upset, know that it's for a noble cause: Paying workers more.
The price hike is part of a trend in the foodservice industry that's seen wages increase in the hopes of attracting new workers and retaining the ones already in place, according to NBC News. While demand for restaurant food has increased, the number of people willing to return to frontline work hasn't been able to keep up. This has meant fewer people to serve the masses, leading to longer waits and less satisfaction across the board. Chipotle announced in May that it planned to raise hourly wages for restaurant workers to an average of $15 per hour by the end of June. CNN also reports that Chipotle is offering a $200 employee referral bonus.
Per NBC News, company executives announced during the Baird Global Consumer, Technology, and Services Conference that they planned to pass the buck to consumers when it came to raising pay. Prices at Chipotle restaurants across the country will rise about 4%. However, you should know that 4% amounts to just a few cents added to each menu item. It's a small price to pay to know that the people feeding you are making a decent living.
"It feels like the right thing, at the right time, and it feels like the industry is now going to have to either do something similar or play some kind of catch-up," CFO Jack Hartung said during the event. "Otherwise you'll just lose the staffing gain."
Chipotle's CEO, Brian Niccol, noted that raising prices is something they prefer to avoid when possible. However, in addition to calls from food service workers to raise the minimum wage, ingredient prices are currently also rising, and supply chain stalls are rampant.
This isn't the first time prices have risen at Chipotle. In 2018, Chipotle raised prices 5%. At the time, that amounted to about a $.34 increase for a chicken burrito bowl. Pocket change, literally.
While no one likes to see prices go up, it's worth remembering all the times Chipotle has given out free burritos and sides. Consider it a trade-off.