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SEC Filings

10-K
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/08/2018
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market expectations for comparable restaurant sales increases would likely result in a significant adverse impact on the price of our common stock. 

Increasing our sales and profits depends in part on our ability to open new restaurants in sites and on terms attractive to us, which is subject to many unpredictable factors, and we plan to open fewer restaurants in 2018 than we have in prior years, which will adversely impact our sales growth.

We had 2,408 restaurants in operation as of December 31, 2017, and we plan to increase the number of our restaurants significantly. In 2018 we plan to open between 130 and 150 new restaurants, significantly fewer than in prior years. We have in the past experienced delays in opening some restaurants and that could happen again as a result of any one or more of the following factors:





 

our potential inability to locate and secure new restaurant sites in locations that we believe to be attractive;

obstacles to hiring and training top performing employees in the local market;

difficulty managing construction and development costs of new restaurants, particularly in competitive markets or when real estate development activity is robust;

delay or cancellation of new site development by developers and landlords, which may become increasingly common during periods of economic uncertainty, tight credit, and/or rising interest rates;

difficulty ramping up the growth of our international business or new restaurant concepts, including for the reasons described below under “—Our expansion into international markets has been limited, and may present increased risks …” and “—Pizzeria Locale, Tasty Made and other new restaurant concepts may not contribute to our growth”;

difficulty negotiating leases with acceptable terms;

any shortages of construction labor or materials;

failures or delays in securing required governmental approvals (including construction, parking and other permits);

lack of availability of, or inability to obtain, adequate supplies of ingredients that meet our quality standards; and

the impact of inclement weather, natural disasters and other calamities.



One of our biggest challenges in opening new restaurants is staffing and training new restaurant teams. We seek to hire only top performing employees, train them extensively in order to ensure we provide an outstanding customer experience, and promote many general managers from our crew, all of which may make it more difficult for us to staff all the restaurants we intend to open. Constraints on our hiring new employees are described further below under “Risks Related to Operating in the Restaurant IndustryOur business could be adversely affected by increased labor costs…

Another significant challenge is locating and securing an adequate supply of suitable new restaurant sites. Competition for restaurant sites in our target markets can be intense, and development and leasing costs are increasing, particularly for urban locations. These factors could negatively impact our ability to manage our occupancy costs, which may adversely impact our profitability.  In addition, any of these factors may be exacerbated by economic factors, which may result in developers and contractors seeing increased demand and therefore driving our construction and leasing costs up. 

If we are unable to open the number of new restaurants we plan, or if we decide to continue opening fewer new restaurants than we have in past years or delay or forego a significant number of planned restaurant openings, including due to any of the reasons set forth above, this could materially and adversely affect our growth strategy and our expected results. Moreover, as we open and operate more restaurants, our rate of expansion relative to the size of our existing restaurant base will decline, making it increasingly difficult to achieve levels of sales and profitability growth that we achieved prior to 2016.  We expect this effect to be more pronounced through at least 2018, given our plan to decrease the number of new restaurants we open during the year as compared to years past.

Our progress in opening new restaurants from quarter to quarter may also occur at an uneven rate, which may result in quarterly sales and profit growth falling short of market expectations in some periods. 

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