Earnings for Chipotle Mexican Grill are hotter than a tamale. Investors seeking solid returns from a proven performer need look no further than CMG. When customers think of Chipotle they think, “Fast and fresh” This has resulted in exponential sales and growth. While Chipotle has many fast food competitors such as, McDonalds (MCD), Yum Brands (YUM), and Panera Bread Company (PNRA) none can claim a stronger link to fresh ingredients. The 19 year old Chipotle Mexican Grill was built on a business model that makes freshness tantamount to success. The CMG chain consists of 1200 locations nationally plus a growing number internationally. The company is driven by a Food with Integrity mission statement. This allows for better tasting food from sustainable sources. This also offers a uniquely successful economic model making it a jewel for the wise investor.
What drives Chipotle Mexican Grill’s success? Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer offers that, sourcing great quality food prepared with classic cooking methods in an interactive format is one of the key drivers to their success. The interactive format creates a shared experience during the ordering process that Chipotle customers enjoy. This format continues to attract a strong and frequent customer base.
A second key to success is high performing team members that consist of 280 restaurateurs. The restaurateurs are responsible for creating a culture of success in each CMG restaurant. The majority of CMG restaurateurs began as team members in Chipotle. This means that customers entering a CMG restaurant will be greeted by empowered employees with a vested interest in making the customers dining experience the best. These empowered cultures build high standards that customers respond to significantly. Better standards equal better sales which lead to increased dividends for investors. This strong combination of ‘food” culture and “people” culture provides a firm base for future growth.
In 2012 CMG plans to open another 155-165 stores that are newly designed, 30% of which have lower occupancy, operating, and building costs. This ties into the Chipotle message of sustainability that is drawing environmentally and health conscious consumers in droves. Damon Vickers of Damon Vickers & Co. said that, “In today’s age we know that the cost of healthcare and disease on society is very extreme and to have fast food that is healthy is a tangible concept that is being embraced nationally. You see it in the share price; the relative performance of Chipotle Mexican Grill versus virtually all other fast food restaurants is unparalleled.” Chipotle Mexican Grill has a loyal customer base, steady growth, dynamic management, and a successful business model. Additionally, CMG offers shares that have reached 37 new record highs this year. It is the stock to invest in.