Chipotle Showing Signs of Cooled Growth in 2015

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Despite strong fourth-quarter earnings, Chipotle Mexican Grill recently announced a weak-sales growth forecast for the upcoming year.  This news has disappointed investors, who are beginning to see an end to the company’s historic growth over the past few years.  

Chipotle focuses on purchasing ingredients from organic and local producers that avoid the use of antibiotics, added hormones, or chemical pesticides.  This business strategy has appealed to the young consumer of today’s age, but can come with increased costs.  The company fears that they will be unable to maintain the same growth this year due to price increases that were instituted over this past year.  

Chipotle also recently suspended pork sales at a third of its restaurants after finding out that one of its suppliers wasn't complying with its animal-welfare standards.  Although this move has increased positive public perception of the company, Chipotle has announced that it will absorb the $2 million dollar cost of removing the pork from menus.   

Chipotle CFO John Hartung has mentioned the idea of raising prices on beef products to recover some cost increases, but he wants to avoid across-the-board price increases.  This is good news for regular Chipotle customers, but a little tough for investors to swallow. 

Chipotle is continuing to expand, opening up 192 restaurants during 2014 and expecting another 190-204 openings in 2015.  Despite the concern over cooled growth, analysts are still predicting strong revenue and profit numbers for 2015.  

Click here for the full story from The Wall Street Journal, or click here for more Front Street news...

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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