Chipotles sales fall again as it tries to win back customers

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Chipotle said sales fell for the fourth straight quarter, as the company struggles to win back customers after an E. coli scare last year.

The burrito chain says sales fell 21.9 per cent at established restaurants during the quarter ending Sept. 30. That’s worse than the

The company has given out millions of free burritos and had launched a three-month loyalty program in June to try to bring customers back. In September, it offered even more freebies: Kids could eat free on Sundays and students could grab free sodas or iced tea with their meals. Earlier this month it started selling chorizo, a spicy pork sausage, on its menus nationwide.

Looking forward, the company said Tuesday that it is updating its digital ordering platform and said it is testing two desserts and plans to add one to its menu in the future.

Overall, Chipotle reported net income $7.8 million, or 27 cents per share, in the three months ending Sept. 30, compared with $144.9 million, or $4.59 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 79 cents per share, below the $1.96 per share analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 15 per cent to $1.04 billion, below the $1.09 billion analysts expected.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. fell 2.4 per cent after the market closed Tuesday. Chipotle’s stock is down about 40 per cent in the last year.


This story has been corrected to show that it is Chipotle’s fourth straight quarter of sales declines.