The AP reports that Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung said earlier today at a Barclays conference in NYC that customers had actually been getting a good deal on steak burritos at the fast-casual chain that only charged slightly more steak than it did for chicken.
“We’re going to widen that [price gap],” Hartung said of the difference between the price for the two menu items. “We’re going to allow our customers to choose whether they want to pay the higher price of steak.”
While he didn’t specify how much the company plans on changing the price of specific products, Hartung did say the general level of price increases will be between 4-6%, which is slightly higher than the previously announced 3-5% expected increase.
The new, higher prices are expected to start showing up on Chipotle menus this summer.
While beef is not the only ingredient responsible for the chain’s price hikes, it is a pricy protein. Hartung says Chipotle’s costs for beef have increased 25% in the last year.
The increased cost of beef is likely the explanation for a renewed push on chicken products by other chains, like Burger King, which has (sort-of) trotted out its decade-old Subservient Chicken viral marketing campaign to sell a chicken version of its Big King sandwich.