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Chipotle earnings soar 25% as prices and customer traffic rise

October 20, 2011 |  4:13 pm

Chipotle
Earnings at fast-casual burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. jumped 25% in the third quarter, but like most other restaurants, the company is struggling with rising food prices.

The Denver-based chain reported net income of $60.4 million -- up 25.3% from the same quarter last year. Revenue increased 24.1% to $591.9 million. Comparable restaurant sales, which measure stores open more than a year, lurched up 11.3%.

In addition, rising commodity prices for meat and cheese caused Chipotle to raise prices on its menu, the company said.

Chipotle ended up with 1,163 total restaurants after adding 32 new locations -- including its new ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen concept in Washington, D.C. -- in the quarter. Next year, the company expects to open an additional 165 restaurants.

High-profile collaborations also helped Chipotle garner attention this quarter. Country crooner Willie Nelson and rock songstress Karen O. both recorded songs for Chipotle advertisements focusing on the chain’s sustainable farming efforts.

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-- Tiffany Hsu

twitter.com/tiffhsulatimes

Photo: The final touches are added to a Burrito Bowl at a Chipotle restaurant in Chicago. Credit: Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune/MCT

Chipotle's Asian concept ShopHouse soft-opens in D.C
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