A Look At Chipotle vs. McDonald’s

by Trefis Team
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Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), is a quick service restaurant in the US that features a Mexican menu of burritos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla), tacos, and salads. The company’s focus is to give a fine dining experience to the world of quick-service restaurants.

McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) is an American chain of quick service restaurants which started its operations with a focus on burgers. It operates and franchises McDonald’s restaurants, which serve a locally-relevant menu of quality food and beverages in more than 100 countries. The restaurants offer a substantially uniform menu, although there are geographic variations to suit local consumer preferences and tastes. The restaurants in the U.S. and many international markets also offer a full or limited breakfast menu.

In this analysis we see how Chipotle’s Key Operating Metrics compare against McDonald’s US business for the last 3 years and the forecast for the ongoing year. For more information please visit our interactive dashboard – Chipotle vs McDonald’s: How Have Revenues and Key Operating Metrics Trended Over Recent Years?

Note: In this analysis for comparison we have only taken McDonald’s US business as the comparison against Chipotle .


How does Chipotle’s Total Revenue compare with McDonald’s?

  • Chipotle’s Revenue has seen a steady and consistent growth over the years. It increased from $3.9 billion in 2016 to $4.9 billion in 2018. Trefis estimates it to increase to $5.5 billion in 2019.
  • McDonald’s US has seen a fall in revenue in recent years as the re-franchising has been done on a large scale. Revenue fell from $8.3 billion in 2016 to $7.7 billion in 2018. As the re-franchising is nearly complete, Trefis estimates revenue to have a positive growth and be around $7.8 billion in 2019.


For more details regarding number of stores and average revenue per store please visit our dashboard – Chipotle vs McDonald’s


Comparing Chipotle’s and McDonald’s EBITDA Margin

  • Chipotle’s EBITDA margin has been a bit fluctuating over the years. It increased from 11.2% in 2016 to 15.9% in 2017 but fell slightly to 15.4% in 2018. In 2019 we expect it to improve to around 17.2%.
  • McDonald’s has seen a continuous rise in its EBITDA margin primarily due to the re-franchising initiative. It increased from 45.7% in 2016 to 60.2% in 2018. In 2019 we expect it to reach around 61.2%


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