The next time you slather salsa all over your Chipotle burrito, give a silent thanks that its spicy/fresh goodness is still around.
The fast-casual chain that believes in serving ethically-sourced food including meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones, organic and local produce when practical, and dairy from cows raised without the use of synthetic hormones, has released its Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 results, which showed an increase in costs to the company.
Chipotle blamed factors beyond its control for the upward fluctuation of food costs like weather conditions, general economic conditions, and seasonal changes, pointing out the increase in "almost all of our raw ingredients including chicken, beef, tortillas and rice" , increasing our food costs." The company also singled out increases in avocado pricing.
Chipotle then issued this worst case scenario in the filing, stating that a possible option would be to stop serving some specific costly items. In the company's SEC filing dated February 3, 2014 the company stated that, "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. Any such changes to our available menu may negatively impact our restaurant traffic and comparable restaurant sales, and could also have an adverse impact on our brand."
That got some media outlets in a tizzy, including NBC6 in Miami. But hold tight, salsa lovers out there. We reached out to Chris Arnold, communications director for the brand, asking him if Chipotle would, indeed, stop serving our beloved guacamole and salsa. "Nope," he said. "This is nothing more than routine and required 'risk factor' disclosure. The sky is not falling."
There you have it! Your salsa and guacamole is safe. But this might be a good time to think about waste the next time you reach to fill that fourth cup full of salsa that you likely won't even use.