RESTAURANT INSIGHTS | CMG New Concept?, Knapp Accelerates (JAN); March is Looming  - 2023 02 13 8 06 18


The street takeaway from the quarter reported last week was the stock was down "after a miss amid transitory headwinds."

CMG has been the most aggressive in raising prices in 2022, charging more for their food, and traffic goes from up from an implied +1-2% in 1Q22 to down 4% in 4Q22, yet the company says we have seen "very little resistance to the pricing, so far." In addition, the mix is down (2%) as consumers spend less and digital transactions decline.

But it is just transitory! 

According to Restaurant Business CMG may be developing a new concept. A new concept called Farmesa is scheduled to open as part of a Kitchen United Mix food hall coming to Santa Monica, Calif., this month. The outlet is rumored to be a new brand from Chipotle Mexican Grill. Is it true? It appears so.

Clue No. 1: The trademark for Farmesa was filed last year by SP Kitchens LLC, including names like “Farmesa Fresh Ingredient Kitchen” and “Farmesa, a Fresh Eatery.”

Clue No. 2: State business listings indicate SP Kitchens has the same principal address as Chipotle’s headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif.

Chipotle officials did not immediately respond to questions about Farmesa or the new food hall.

Kitchen United said  14 “incredible independently operated” restaurant brands will be in the food hall, which is in a prime location on Santa Monica’s popular promenade, just blocks from the ocean. The site was previously a food hall called The Gallery. Reports indicate signs outside listing what’s coming, including the new Farmesa, Duck Donuts, Santa Monica Brew Works and Mad Scientist Ice Cream.

Kitchen United CMO Katie Wollrich said there will be a bar onsite, which will be operated by Santa Monica Brew Works. Other concepts include Burger & Sons, Mr Roni Cups, Ms. Clucks Deluxe and WhatTheFarm.


It was no surprise that CMG said business was strong in early January but slowed toward the end of the month. The industry has easy compares.  

The estimated comparable Casual Dining restaurant sales change in January 2023 is +16.0% and +5.9% for guest counts. The run rate for comparable sales for the first 2 weeks of January 2023 is 20.1%, and the comparable sales for the last two weeks of January 2023 are 12.1%.


                                                 COMP SALES        COMP GUEST COUNTS

Week ending   JANUARY 08           20.9%                    10.2%

Week ending   JANUARY 15           19.3%                      8.6%     

Week ending   JANUARY 22           12.6%                      3.1%

Week ending   JANUARY 29           11.5%                      1.5%

MONTH OF JANUARY 2023              16.0%                      5.9%

RESTAURANT INSIGHTS | CMG New Concept?, Knapp Accelerates (JAN); March is Looming  - 2023 02 13 10 28 44

RESTAURANT INSIGHTS | CMG New Concept?, Knapp Accelerates (JAN); March is Looming  - 2023 02 13 8 07 24