Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG)announced on Wednesday that it plans to close 55 to 65 underperforming restaurants in a marketing overhaul under Brian Niccol, who took over as Chief Executive Officer in March. The first half of these closures will be completed within the next 30 days. Closures include five of their seven casual pizza chains, Pizzeria Locale. Since the announcement of Mr. Noccol as the next Chipotle CEO, shares have risen by more than 80%.
The Company has also announced the possibility of new deals in an effort to attract customers outside of their lunch and dinner offerings, as well as a rollout of a customer loyalty program in the second half of 2018. It is also exploring possibilities of releasing a “Happy Hour” offering USD 2.00 tacos with a drink.
"Our vision at Chipotle is to win today and cultivate a better future," CEO Brian Niccol said in a call with investors.
Niccol, who was previously CEO of Taco Bell, is hoping to see growth similar to that of Taco Bell, which saw major growth under his leadership through more creative marketing and new menu items. Chipotle is currently testing five new menu items, including the Avocado Tostadas, Quesadillas, and Chocolate Milkshakes in its New York City test kitchen.
Shares fell over 5%, from USD 457.28 to USD 431.71, during after-hours trading due to the few details provided from Executives about international plans, only saying that they would focus on “aggressive growth” in the U.S.