Chipotle Mexican Grill is increasing menu prices to cover the costs of raising its workers’ wages, the company announced.
Consumers will see price increases of approximately 4 percent at the popular Mexican food chain, with that money being used to increase employees’ paychecks following the company’s announcement that hourly wages for workers would reach an average of $15 by the end of the month.
The price hike is likely not to be felt too badly by consumers, with company officials saying that it will amount to quarters and dimes while dramatically boosting their ability to pay employees.
“We'd really prefer not to raise prices),” Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said at the Baird Global Consumer, Technology, and Services Conference this week.
“But it made sense in this scenario to invest in our employees and get these restaurants staffed and make sure we had the pipeline of people to support our growth.”
The starting pay for new and existing hourly and salaried restaurant employees would range from $11 to $18 per hour. The average employee wage was previously making around $13 an hour.
The increased wages come ahead of the company's "peak season,” the company stated.
To accommodate for the expected rush, the company is looking to hire 20,000 employees at its estimated 200 restaurants across the nation.
CFO Jack Hartung added that “it feels like the right thing, at the right time, and it feels like the industry is now going to have to either do something similar or play some kind of catch-up. Otherwise, you’ll just lose the staffing gain.”
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