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Chipotle Prices ‘Likely’ to Increase in 2013

Higher dairy and meat costs could push prices higher later this year at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in Napa and around the country, a company official said.

Lunch might cost a little more at Chipotle later this year thanks to higher dairy and meat costs, the company announced Thursday.

Napa's Chipotle opened in March, 2012 to instant crowds: See Chipotle Welcomes Locals for photographer Tony Flores's images from opening day.

"While we haven't made any decisions yet, the fact that our food costs are rising—it is more likely that we'll raise prices in 2013," Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung told investors at a conference Thursday.

"We're not going to rush into it," Hartung said, adding that higher prices likely wouldn't come until the middle of the year.

The CFO said inflation in the cost of dairy in the fourth quarter opened the company to the idea of menu price increases in the third quarter of 2013, though officials are hopeful inflation will level off later this year.

Hartung, in the presentation, didn't detail how much prices could go up at the restaurant now in its 20th year.

Chipotle opened 183 new restaurants last year, officials said, and expect to open more this year. Next month, a new vegetarian option—shredded organic tofu called "sofritas"—will debut in San Francisco with possible expansion into other markets.

Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said the restaurant serves almost 1 million customers each day.

Will higher prices push you away from Chipotle? Tell us in the comments.

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Tim Thulin January 22, 2013 at 05:29 PM
If I was going to have a burrito in that part of town I'd go accross the street to Villa Corona. The price doesn't really make a difference, if I liked their burritos I would not be happy with a price increase but it probably wouldn't influence my buying decision.
MICHAEL P WILSON "Independent Kid" January 22, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Milk and meat lol try health care.
Larry Cereghino January 23, 2013 at 03:52 PM
I dont eat lunch thier any way.................I eat out for lunch mybe once a week..I'd rather make a great lunch at home.........A tri-tip deli sandwich is the best........

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