WTF is up with Chipotle’s portion sizes?

Consumers are fed up with Chipotle’s portion shrinkage, but the company’s financials show strong customer loyalty.
May 27, 2024
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small Chipotle burrito next to bigger one

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has noticed Chipotle’s portion-size problem. On social media, Chipotle is currently getting flamed (maybe my favorite TikTok of all time), and some customers are calling for a boycott.

But has the market decided that portion shrinkage at Chipotle isn’t as important as many of us thought?

Wall Street loves Chipotle, and customers do, too, despite the portion-size problem.

Chipotle is the gold standard when it comes to restaurant-level operating margins. Since 2020, its restaurant-level operating margin has increased yearly from 17.4% to 26.2%. During that same period, Chipotle’s market cap has increased from ~$38 billion at the start of 2020 to ~$86 billion today.

Chipotle's restaurant-level operating margin

Same-store sales are an important indicator of customer loyalty: In Q1 2024, the company’s same-store sales increased by 8.4%, which is incredibly impressive in an environment where other restaurant chains like Starbucks report declining same-store sales.

Chipotle’s operating rigor and financial health paint a much different reality than what people are saying on social media. So, maybe the market has decided that it doesn’t give a hoot about whether or not you and I got enough steak in our burrito. 

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