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What Could Drive Chipotle’s Revenue in 2018

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Mar. 22 2018, Published 1:17 p.m. ET

Revenue expectations in 2018

Analysts expect Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) to post revenue of $4.8 billion in 2018, which represents 8.0% growth from its revenue of $4.5 billion in 2017. The revenue growth is expected to be driven by positive SSSG (same-store sales growth) and the addition of new restaurants.

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Management’s guidance

Chipotle management expects to open 130–150 new restaurants in 2018, and has guided for 2018 SSSG in the low single digits. Chipotle’s 2018 SSSG is expected to be driven by the expansion of catering services, implementation of digital advancements, improved convenience for customers, menu innovations, and marketing and promotional offerings.

By the end of 2017, Chipotle was offering delivery service from 40% of its restaurants, which contributed 1.0% of its total revenue. The company has been testing new catering options, such as catering for smaller groups, lower-priced options, and more convenient packaging, and also is focusing on expanding services to more restaurants.

In 4Q17, sales from Chipotle’s second make-lines, which serve only online orders, increased by 33% year-over-year. The strong growth appears to have compelled Chipotle to expand a second make-line to 30% of its restaurants by the end of 2018. Also, the company has been working on designing new restaurants with optimized mobile ordering, better beverage presentation, and more comfortable dining areas.

Peer comparison

Analysts expect Shake Shack (SHAK) and The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) to post revenue growth of 25.4% and 4.1%, in 2018, respectively. Next, we’ll look at analysts’ EPS expectations.

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