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Chipotle to raise menu prices for 4th time in 2 years

Chipotle fans take note: indulging in a taco or burrito at the fast-food restaurant could soon put a bigger dent in your wallet. 

That's because the Tex-Mex chain plans to bump up menu prices, the company confirmed to Insider Tuesday, marking its fourth price hike in two years. Chipotle is attributing the move to "the state of the economy," the publication reported. 

A Chipotle spokesperson did not clarify the extent to which prices will rise or which menu items will become more expensive. It also remains unclear when the price hikes will go into effect. A burrito at Chipotle currently costs $11.10 in New York, the company's website shows. 

Chipotle did not immediately respond to CBS MoneyWatch's request for comment.

Loyalty remains strong

Chipotle's latest planned price increases come at a time when inflation is up once again. Consumer prices rose by an annual rate of 3.7% in August, marking the second consecutive month of rising costs, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. It's a trend economists expect to have continued in September, according to financial data company FactSet. The BLS will release its September inflation data Thursday. 

Chipotle has serving up several price hikes over the last few years. In August 2022, Chipotle raised the prices of its entrees by more than $1 for some customers. That increase followed a previous increase earlier that same year. Before that, the company had also bumped up its prices in June 2021, a move it attributed to a hike in hourly wages for employees to $15 an hour. Chipotle hiked its prices again in December 2021 by 4%, bringing the cost of menu offerings that year up 10% higher than they were in 2020.  

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However, the price hikes don't appear to have diminished customers' appetite for Chipotle's burritos, bowls and other Mexican-inspired offerings. Chipotle's net sales rose 13.6% to $2.51 billion in the second quarter compared to the same quarter a year prior, the company's filing shows. 

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol called attention to the loyalty of the fast-food joint's fans during an earnings call in July. 

"The [Chipotle] brand is very strong and the value proposition is very strong, and we have that pricing power to use," Niccol told investors during the call. 

Fast-food prices rise

Chipotle isn't the only chain restaurant to raise its prices in recent months. According to price data tool Pricelisto, fast-food menu prices jumped roughly 13% in 2022, with Wendy's and Chick-fil-A instituting the highest price hikes per meal. 

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