Despite being in the news for its constant price increases, Chipotle really has a lower pricing point than its competitors.
The fast-casual favourite is currently 10.7% less expensive than Qdoba, 9.2% less expensive than Moe's Southwest Grill, and roughly 5% less expensive than Baja Fresh.
According to the study, which looked at 25 cities' menu prices, the cost of Chipotle's chicken-based meals—which account for around 60% of its sales—has increased by 19% since 2018.
The price of chicken dinners climbed by 21.5% and 28.1%, respectively, at Qdoba and Moe's.
Similar increases in price were seen for steak-based meals at Qdoba, Moe's, and Chipotle, while increases of 25.8% and 32.8 percent were seen at Qdoba and Moe's.
The report's conclusions were released not long after Chipotle raised its pricing by 4%, which came after several rounds of price increases that had previously started in the spring of 2021.
Chipotle was also found to be less expensive than new fast-casual businesses like Chopt and Sweetgreen, which had 13.5 and 12% higher prices, outside of the Mexican fast-food market.
Analysts believe the price rises won't be stopping anytime soon, despite the research naming Chipotle the "value leader in the fast casual Mexican category."
We anticipate Chipotle will keep raising menu prices, although at a slower rate than many of its competitors in order to preserve its value proposition.
The research also emphasised that Chipotle has continued to expand while several of its rivals have closed outlets since 2018.
The chain, which has 3,000 restaurants operating right now, wants to have 7,000 sites throughout North America.
More than 80% of those locations will have a Chipotlane, a drive-thru lane structure for digital orders-only that offers up to 20% better sales than conventional storefronts.