Chipotle CEO Says No to Breakfast, Yes to Longer Hours

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Chipotle Mexican Grill
Inc.’s


CMG 24.50%

new chief government mentioned his recipe for reviving the burrito maker is straightforward: deal with bettering the quick service and comparatively easy menu that made the chain so fashionable to start with.

Brian Niccol

mentioned in an interview on Thursday that he’s taking a measured method to turning round Chipotle’s enterprise after greater than two years of weak gross sales within the wake of food-safety and customer support issues.

He mentioned the corporate is hiring new area managers and restaurant staff from outdoors the corporate reasonably than solely selling folks internally. He mentioned Chipotle will extra rigorously check new menu objects and add longer hours, pickup home windows for cellular orders and probably drive-throughs at some eating places.

And he mentioned Chipotle received’t introduce combo meals or minimize costs to entice new clients.

“I’m not planning on playing that game,” he mentioned. “I’m planning on playing a different value game: offering great food with great ingredients that you don’t get anywhere else.”

Investors this week cheered Chipotle’s first robust quarterly earnings report in a while. Shares jumped greater than 24% on Thursday after the chain reported late Wednesday that it had beat gross sales and revenue expectations in its fiscal first quarter.

Mr. Niccol, who was the chief government of Taco Bell earlier than taking the highest job at Chipotle in March, has shrugged off requires Chipotle to franchise shops or add breakfast objects. Activist investor

Bill Ackman,

whose Pershing Square Capital Management is Chipotle’s largest shareholder with a stake of about 10%, has publicly urged Chipotle to serve breakfast.

Mr. Niccol mentioned he has instructed Mr. Ackman Chipotle wants to deal with turning round its present enterprise first.

“I’ve been very clear with him: Not now,” Mr. Niccol mentioned. “Bill and I have had a couple of really good conversations. He may have some ideas that I don’t think are the right ones now.”

Mr. Niccol mentioned Chipotle can as an alternative open eating places earlier and maintain them open later with out making main menu modifications. Many clients need to eat its burritos earlier than 10:30 a.m. and after 10 p.m., Mr. Niccol mentioned.

Mr. Niccol additionally mentioned he’s scrutinizing operations at 100 underperforming eating places and that a few of them could be closed. He mentioned he’s in search of methods to make Chipotle’s provide chain extra environment friendly, whereas sticking by the corporate’s dedication to purchase from native farmers.

Write to Julie Jargon at [email protected]

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