Our success depends in large part on our ability to persuade customers that food made with higher-quality ingredients is worth the prices they will pay at our
stores relative to prices offered by some of our competitors, particularly those in the quick-service segment. We may not successfully educate customers about the quality of our food, and they may not
care even if they do understand our approach. That could require us to change our pricing, advertising or promotional strategies, which could materially and adversely affect our results or the brand
identity that we've tried to create.
Changes in customer tastes and preferences, spending patterns and demographic trends could cause sales to decline.
Changes in customer preferences, general economic conditions, discretionary spending priorities, demographic trends, traffic patterns and the type, number and
location of competing restaurants affect the restaurant industry. Our success depends to a significant extent on consumer confidence, which is influenced by general economic conditions and
discretionary income levels. Our sales may decline
during economic downturns, which can be caused by various economic factors such as high gasoline prices, or during periods of uncertainty, such as those that followed the terrorist attacks on the
United States in 2001. Similarly, hurricanes Katrina and Rita are affecting consumer confidence and are likely to affect our supply costs, near-term construction costs for our new stores
and may affect our sales going forward. Any material decline in consumer confidence or a decline in family "food away from home" spending could cause our sales, operating results, business or
financial condition to decline. If we fail to adapt to changes in customer preferences and trends, we may lose customers and our sales may deteriorate.
We operate in the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry. This segment is highly competitive with respect to, among other things, taste,
price, food quality and presentation, service, location and the ambiance and condition of each restaurant. We also compete with restaurants in the quick-service segment. Our competition includes a
variety of locally owned restaurants and national and regional chains. Our competitors offer dine-in, carry-out and delivery services. Many of our competitors have existed
longer and often have a more established market presence with substantially greater financial, marketing, personnel and other resources than Chipotle. Our parent, McDonald's, operates in the
quick-service segment of the restaurant industry. Among our main competitors are a number of multi-unit, multi-market Mexican food or burrito restaurant concepts, some of which are
expanding nationally. As we expand further in existing markets, our existing stores may face competition from our new stores that begin operating in those markets.
of our competitors compete by offering menu items that are specifically identified as low in carbohydrates, better for customers or otherwise targeted at particular consumer
preferences. Many of our competitors in the fast-casual and quick-service segments of the restaurant industry also emphasize lower-cost, "value meal" menu options, a strategy
we don't pursue. Our sales may be adversely affected by these products and price competition.
new companies may enter our markets and target our customers. For example, additional competitive pressures have come more recently from the deli sections and
in-store cafés of several major grocery store chains, including those targeted at customers who want higher-quality food, as well as from convenience stores and casual
dining outlets. These competitors may have, among other things, lower operating costs, better locations, better facilities, better management, more effective marketing and more efficient operations.
of these competitive factors may adversely affect us and reduce our sales and profits.