Same-store sales growth
Same-store sales growth, expressed in percentage, is a measure of the increase in revenue from existing restaurants over a certain period, usually year-over-year. Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) recorded overall same-store sales growth of -14.6% for 4Q15.
The E. coli outbreak
With the increased awareness of Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak, same-store sales growth declined. The company reported same-store sales growth of a “lower positive single digit number” in October. It was -16% in November and -30% in December, according to the company.
For analysis purposes, the company has classified its customers into five categories: new customers or lapse customers, white, medium, heavy, and loyal. Loyal customers are the ones who visit Chipotle restaurants more than 25 times per year.
In 4Q15, there was a decrease in new customers and loyal customers. Chipotle management stated that its first priority is to win back its loyal customers. Many of these customers are part of Chipotle’s mobile and email marketing database. Management says it will utilize those services to communicate with them to win back their confidence.