Chipotle is Making Major Changes to its Menu That Might Make Customers Mad

by Madison Miller
Photo Illustration by: Scott Olson/Getty Images

More and more restaurants and fast-food establishments are looking to increase the hourly wages of their employees.

It’s good timing as well. For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard. The pandemic led to job losses, extended time away, or other complications. Financially, people may need help now more than ever before.

Chipotle Menu Prices Increase

Chipotle is one of many chains that is increasing the hourly pay for its employees. This is a standard amongst chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and even other non-food-related businesses.

According to CNBC, the goal is to get the average wage up to $15 an hour by the end of June, which is quickly approaching. In order to help do so, Chipotle is raising its prices on the menu by about 4%. The increase would be about 40 cents depending on a person’s location.

“It feels like the right thing, at the right time, and it feels like the industry is now going to have to either do something similar or play some kind of catch-up. Otherwise you’ll just lose the staffing gain,” CFO Jack Hartung said at the Baird Global Consumer, Technology & Services Conference.

The move to increase menu prices is done to ensure that the needs of employees are being fairly met. While many customers may not like paying a little extra for their chicken rice bowl, there’s a real purpose behind that price hike.

There is currently a struggle to maintain employment in the restaurant industry. The employment in these specific fields is down by 2.5 million if compared to the levels prior to the pandemic. The decrease comes right as consumers demand more restaurant meals as things across the country begin to improve. Restaurants and fast-food places must pay more in order to counteract the decrease in labor.

Companies Face Shortages

Similar to many companies, Chipotle is dealing with some pretty serious country-wide issues.

There is currently a rising ingredient cost all across the restaurant industry. The supply and demand levels are skewed. As it turns out, Chipotle isn’t the only establishment having to make some tough choices as certain supply issues continue.

According to Business Insider, Starbucks is facing shortages of some core products the business relies on. There could be at least 25 items that are put on a temporary hold starting on June 4. This includes products like hazelnut syrup, toffee nut syrup, chai tea bags, green iced tea, and several others.

This is just a temporary pause on production while these chain supply issues are dealt with.

Customers have been responding to this intense shortage at their local Starbucks.

Not only are customers missing out on some of their favorites, but all the shortages are making work that much harder for Starbucks employees.