Rising fuel prices have increased the costs for almost all industries, but the food industry has been particularly hard hit. Higher gas prices increase food production and transportation costs, reduce consumer discretionary spending, and bolster the demand for ethanol, which has put pressure on corn prices. This has created a ripple effect in the food industry. Higher corn prices mean higher costs for wheat, livestock, sugar, etc. ...
In recent weeks, other restaurateurs, including Wendy's
Performance in a tough environment proves the viability of Chipotle's model and the competence of its management. This quarter's margins were an all-time high for the company, and I don't necessarily expect margins to improve next quarter. However, I'm looking forward to further efficiency improvements over the long term. Management declared its focus on improving the quality and efficiency of core products and operations, as opposed to new initiatives such as dessert, breakfast, or drive-through windows. Proposed efficiency initiatives include more employee training, new tortilla machines, and a second prep line for large orders.
While the stock is definitely pricey at more than 70 times last year's earnings, the company has a great growth story and a history of beating expectations.
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