2. Chipotle just had its best year since 2013
Yeah, we know the "guac is extra"... We didn't know Chipotle was living its best life -- The stock rose 50% in 2018 for its strongest performance since a fajita-fueled 80% surge 5 years ago. Those norovirus outbreaks that dropped sales from 2015-2016 feel like many meals/bathroom trips ago.
Burrito bowls are an art and a science... And Brian Niccol is their Da Vinci. He's the former Taco Bell CEO who became Chipotle CEO in early 2018. He's using the rando food "innovation" of his former employer to get Chipotle creatively experimenting with new options. Here's what the kitchen's testing, and we're liking:
- Chocolate Milkshakes: We're talking high grade Mexican beans
- Breakfast Burritos: So you'll actually come in before noon
- Avocado Tostados: Because people think our generation is physically and psychologically dependent upon them
- Nachos: A smaller item for your friend who just survived a juice cleanse
The Takeaway: Lines are for losers... We've lost 3 years of productive life waiting in them for barbacoa. Niccol knows convenience is king, so his other major move is upping the chain's order-ahead game: He's improved the app, added takeout-only prep kitchens, tested drive-up windows, and created pick-up only shelves. Now sales are up 20% during his reign.