Chipotle said it will start testing a dessert next month. CEO Steve Ells described the dessert, bunuelos, as fried tortilla strips with honey and sugar with an apple and caramel dipping sauce. The company has felt confident enough to raise prices by about 5 percent in about 440 restaurants, but said it will evaluate how that goes over before expanding the price hikes elsewhere.
For the quarter, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. earned $46.1 million, or $1.60 per share, following a loss in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected $1.29 per share, according to FactSet. Total revenue was $1.07 billion, topping the $1.05 billion analysts expected.
The Denver-based chain said earlier that sales rose 17.8 percent at established locations for the three months ended March 31, following a 29.7 percent decline in the year-ago quarter. Sales at stores open at least 13 months had turned positive in December after dropping steeply starting in late 2015. The 13-month metric is a considered a key indicator because it strips out the volatility of newly opened and closed locations.
The company has continued building new locations, and ended the quarter with 2,291 stores.
Chipotle shares rose 3 percent in after-hours trading.