Chipotle is hot and Starbucks hits pause: Analysts say cost inflation will weigh on restaurants in 2022

Chipotle is hot and Starbucks hits pause: Analysts say cost inflation will weigh on restaurants in 2022

The new year is just getting started but analysts have already upgraded Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and downgraded Starbucks Corp., with experts concerned that cost inflation will take a toll on the entire restaurant category.

Chipotle CMG, -1.43% was upgraded to outperform from perform at Oppenheimer, with analysts identifying a few factors that could drive business gains, including the addition of Chipotlanes, which provide drive-thru order pickup service, and strategic pricing.

Oppenheimer has a $1,925 price target on Chipotle shares.

“We believe same-store sales drivers remain powerful as digital, loyalty, marketing, innovation all hold further upside,” analysts led by Brian Bittner wrote.

“Digital has represented a business transformer at 43% of sales (vs. 20% pre-pandemic) and has enabled access to a powerful loyalty base of 24.5 million members (and growing),” they said.

See: Taco Bell takes taco subscription program nationwide

The fast-casual chain also has wiggle…

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