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We made a few calls to see how things are going.  It’s a small sample and definitely not reflective of the entire CMG system, but gangbuster numbers were not the order of the day.  The results were mixed with some characterizing business as steady-to-slightly slower than three months ago.  Several attributed this slowdown to seasonality.  For those stores that stated business was up YOY, the magnitude of growth for the most part was not as great as we have seen from CMG as a whole (posted +11.4% comp growth in 3Q10).  It is worth noting, however, that for those stores saying that business is flat versus 3 months ago, trends are still strong.  Flat two-year trends in 4Q10 imply, approximately, a 12% comp growth on a YOY basis.

Chipotle, CO

  • “Denver is where Chipotle started so we have a pretty big customer base and following.  Business has not slowed down with us we are generally pretty full and busy, especially during lunch and dinner.”
  • “We have gotten more customers and business compared to last year, it’s kind of hard to tell because when you’re always full at certain times to count the change.  I would say my best estimate would be maybe 2% more than last year.”
  • “Per month I can’t give you it’s just really hard to tell the difference, we are busy but it’s pretty consistent.”

Chipotle, MD

  • Stated the stores will have been open for about 3 years in a couple of months
  • Stated that compared to last year they have seen a 1 to 2 percent increase “Business has been slightly up compared to last year”

Chipotle, FL

  • Characterized business as "Up"
  • "Lunch is our most busiest, but we do get a decent amount for dinner to"
  • "I'm not sure about a percent I know we are little busier than usual"

Chipotle, NJ

  • We asked about business in general YoY.
  • He said that it is about the same.
  • We asked about 3 months ago compared to now - manager said that they were busier in the summer, but for them that is expected. Their location is always busier in the summer.
  • We asked if they are meeting the projections - manager said that the sales trends are following what they would expect. Things are pretty steady.

Chipotle, NY

  • We were transferred to the manager and asked him how business is compared to last year.
  • Manager said that they are in line with their numbers, which are about 5% growth from last year.
  • Another location opened pretty close to them a few months ago and it took a little away from them.
  • We asked how business is now compared to 3 months ago and the manager said that they are about the same, flat really.

Chipotle, IL

  • We asked about business YoY and the manager said that they are a little busier - about 3%.
  • We asked about now compared to 3 months ago - manager said that they are less busy now by a little bit.
  • We asked how much - he said 1½ or 2%.
  • We asked why - he said probably because they are downtown and it’s getting pretty cold out.

Howard Penney

Managing Director