Chipotle is raising prices for the fourth time in just over two years and fans are not happy

Chipotle is facing a backlash from fans for raising prices for the fourth time in just over two years.

According to a report from Insider, Laurie Schalow – chief corporate affairs officer at Chipotle – says the fast-food chain will be raising its prices due to “offset inflation.”

In a statement she said: “For the first time in over a year, we will be taking a modest price increase to offset inflation.”

While Ms Schalow did not reveal which menu items would be affected, the “modest” uptick in prices may be reflected across the board given the current state of the economy. The last time Chipotle announced a price hike was in July 2022, and this led to entrees costing $1 more than usual for customers after the price hike took effect in August. The entrees may be affected once more.

In the first quarter of 2022, Chipotle reportedly raised its prices by 4 per cent on top of another increase back in June 2021, which according to the company, was done to offset increasing employees wages.

On a Chipotle subreddit board, longtime fans sounded off on the increase in prices and speculated whether or not the latest price hikes would cause loyal customers to jump ship.

“Good luck. Eventually people will just stop coming,” one Reddit user wrote, and another replied: “I basically have stopped. Maybe if I happen to be out and need to slam something but even then, it’s not at the top of my list.”

Others doubted that anything could truly deter loyal customers from continuing to buy from the Mexican food chain, with someone writing: “Price increases haven’t stopped people yet lol.” Another person added, “This is what’s killing me. People will complain about prices but yet they will KEEP buying it.”

In July, TikTok users were reportedly calling the increase in prices the “downfall of Chipotle.” Many waxed poetic about Chipotle’s so-called glory days, including one user who wrote: “I feel bad for ppl who didn’t get to experience 2009-2010 Chipotle, whew lawd it was fire.” Another added, “I would give ANYTHING for a single bite of my 2011 Chipotle order.”

It isn’t only Chipotle that has been affected by the current state of the economy. Popular fast-food chains nationwide, including Shake Shack and Taco Bell, have been impacted by rising inflation rates as well. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation rose by 3.7% per cent in August of this year compared to August 2022. Although these rates remain far below the record inflation rates that were seen in June 2022 at a whopping 9.1 per cent, the rise in inflation indicates that the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2 per cent still remains far away.

If the inflation rate continues to increase, it could reportedly trigger a recession. In August, Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve, said that officials were proceeding “carefully” but aiming for a “soft landing” as they keep working around the clock to bring down inflation.