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June 28, 2018

Fast casual chain Chipotle unveils new initiatives to drive sales

American fast casual chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has unveiled new growth initiatives to drive sales and transactions.

American fast casual chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has unveiled new growth initiatives to drive sales and transactions.

Announced during its special investor call, the brand will focus the initiatives across marketing, digital, consumer access, menu, analytics and operations to help expand its business.

Chipotle chief executive officer Brian Niccol said: “All our efforts will focus on making the brand more engaging, visible, and culturally relevant while our restaurant teams are dedicated to providing an excellent guest experience with great hospitality and real food cooked to perfection.

“Specifically, this will include three big initiatives – revamping our marketing communications and plans, leveraging our second make line to grow digital sales and expand access, and engaging with our customers by launching a new loyalty programme in 2019.

“We believe our digital business has a long runway for growth and ultimately can be a multi-billion-dollar business.”

As part of its expansion plans, the restaurant chain will also expand its menu offerings by adding a pipeline of food choices to attract new customers. Currently, it is testing items such as quesadillas, avocado tostadas, nachos and chocolate shakes at one of its locations in New York City, according to New York Times.

Through these initiatives, the company expects to sustainably drive transactions, improve unit economics, accelerate earnings growth and create significant shareholder value.

Chipotle chief financial officer Jack Hartung said: “While it’s too early to predict the timing and precise impact each of these strategies will have on results, I’m confident that these strategies will lead to higher average unit volumes and margins in the future. We know that the combination of great operations, clever marketing, and pushing further into our digital initiatives can drive near term sales growth.”

In addition, Chipotle is planning to restructure and execute new organisational strategies that will result in non-recurring costs during the second quarter and over the next several quarters.

These changes include relocating offices, organisation restructuring and closing underperforming restaurants, which will cost the company between $115m and $135m.

Up to 65 underperforming restaurants are expected to close, including five of the seven Pizzeria Locale restaurants, as part its corporate restructuring efforts.

The company is planning to close half of the locations in the next month, reports Business Insider UK.

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