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Chipotle Prices ‘Likely’ to Increase in 2013

The store has yet to open in Rohnert Park, but once it does, higher dairy and meat costs could push prices higher later this year, a company official said.

In Rohnert Park, news that a Chipotle is in the works is making mouths water for the chain's famous burritos. But, once the chain opens up in Rohnert Park, which could be a few more months from now, locals will most likely be paying more for their 'burritofication' experience.

Lunch might cost a little more at Chipotle later this year thanks to higher dairy and meat costs, the company announced Thursday.

Rohnert Park's Chipotle was set to open in December, but could take a few more months. The store is located at 6325 Commerce Blvd.

"While we haven't made any decisions yet, the fact that our food costs are rising—it is more likely that we'll raise prices in 2013," Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung told investors at a conference Thursday.

"We're not going to rush into it," Hartung said, adding that higher prices likely wouldn't come until the middle of the year.

The CFO said inflation in the cost of dairy in the fourth quarter opened the company to the idea of menu price increases in the third quarter of 2013, though officials are hopeful inflation will level off later this year.

Hartung, in the presentation, didn't detail how much prices could go up at the restaurant now in its 20th year.

Chipotle opened 183 new restaurants last year, officials said, and expect to open more this year. Next month, a new vegetarian option—shredded organic tofu called "sofritas"—will debut in San Francisco with possible expansion into other markets.

Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said the restaurant serves almost 1 million customers each day.

Will higher prices push you away from Chipotle? How excited are you about Rohnert Park's Chipotle?

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