Why Chipotle Mexican Grill’s quarterly same-store sales spiked

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High growth in same-store sales

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s (CMG) same-store sales increased by 17.3% year-over-year in the second quarter and 13.4% in the first quarter. The increase in same-store sales also resulted in average sales per restaurant of $2.3 million. This growth is considered high, compared to its competitors Panera Bread (PNRA), which reported same-store sales of 0.1%, and Potbelly (PBPB), which reported a 1.6% decrease in same-store sales.

Increased traffic and average check

The average check benefited by 2.5% due to an increase in the menu prices along with an increase in traffic. Together, they improved the top line. Average check in the quarter increased by 5% year-over-year, half of which was due to the increase in menu prices.

Throughput

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You will often see a long line during peak lunch and dinner hours at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Staff freshly prepare the food in the restaurant and serve it to customers. With this combination, it is important to increase the output of the employees at the assembly line. Chipotle Mexican Grill was able to increase this output by eight transactions during both lunch and dinner peak hours, compared to last year. The transaction comparable grew 9.4% year-over-year during lunch and 13.3% year-over-year during dinner peak hours, compared to last year.

An investor interested in the restaurant industry as a whole can invest in ETFs such as the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY) and the PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF (PBJ).

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