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Chipotle CEO Says Top Priority Is To Remind People 'Why They Love' The Fast Casual Restaurant

Chipotle CEO Says Top Priority Is To Remind People 'Why They Love' The Fast Casual Restaurant

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) were trading higher by 25 percent Thursday afternoon after the restaurant chain reported first-quarter results that convinced some Wall Street analysts a turnaround is underway. What's next for the fast casual chain

'The Food Is Craveable' 

Chipotle delivered a strong Q1 earnings beat, but revenue fell slightly short of estimates. Same-store sales rose an encouraging 2.2 percent, although traffic declined in the quarter. The top priority for the company is to remind people "why they love Chipotle," CEO Brian Niccol told CNBC in a Thursday interview.

"Chipotle stands for, I think, the way people want to eat," Niccol said. "The food is craveable." 

The chain is also backed by "very powerful" economics that allows for innovation in digital, mobile ordering, and off-premise initiatives like catering and delivery, the CEO said. Chipotle won't lose focus on its strengths, including its reputation for speedy service, Niccol told CNBC. 

"There are opportunities to use what we have and present it in new forms and new varieties to get people re-engaged with what they love about Chipotle." 

Related Links:

Jim Cramer Hates Chipotle's CEO Pick

Making Sense Of A $500 Price Target On Chipotle Shares

Photo courtesy of Chipotle. 

Posted-In: Brian Niccol CNBC fast casualRestaurants Media General Best of Benzinga


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