Holy guacamole, Batman!
Chipotle lovers everywhere are being shaken to the core by a report that the company may have to cut the beloved green gunk from its menu due to global warming. Buried in a 10-K filing from early February, under the “risks to business” heading, was this comment by the Denver-based food chain:
“Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients,” said Chipotle.
That’s the buildup, then Chipotle sticks the knife in. It says if prices go up for crucial ingredients, it could mean an adverse hit on operation results. And then…
“Alternatively, in the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients, we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”
Anticipating the potential furor, Chipotle admits that cutting out guacamole, or other vital burrito stuffers, may mean a hit on its restaurant traffic, comparable sales and “could have an adverse impact on our brand.” The stock has been a darling over the last 12 months — up around 78% — and got a sizeable bump after the company posted a 30% rise in fourth-quarter earnings early this year, as more traffic for restaurants boosted sales.
But they know we go there for the guacamole, right?
On its website, Chipotle says it uses 97,000 pounds of avocados on an average day, and it takes 70 to make a single batch of guacamole. The company boasts it provides “Food with Integrity,” such as locally-sourced vegetables — grown on farms within 350 miles of the restaurant — meat from animals that aren’t given antibiotics and 100% recycled napkins.