The next time you order steak or barbacoa with your Chipotle don't be surprised when you have to pay more at the register.
According to Eater, "continually rising beef prices" are the reason Chipotle is charging 4 to 6 percent more for steak and barbacoa burritos, bowls, tacos and salads. The price increase is nationwide.
Chipotle meals with steak and barbacoa cost $7.99 on average in Minnesota, according to FastFoodMenuPrices.com.
John Hartung, Chipotle's chief financial officer, says the price increase shouldn't be too intimidating for customers because the company's beef rates were already below market averages.
"We lose money any time someone comes in and thinks about getting chicken and gets steak instead," Hartung said, according to CNN Money.
Beef prices remain very high
Minimum wage hikes across the country have nothing to do with the price jump, Chipotle officials say.
Fortune explains that the severe drought conditions in parts of the U.S. dating back to 2014 are to blame. Cattle populations dipped to 30-40 year lows, which in turn sent beef prices to record highs.
Analysts, via CNBC, aren't forecasting shrinking lines because of higher Chipotle prices, but they won't be surprised if some beef lovers settle for chicken from time to time.
Beef prices in the U.S. are expected to go down as cattle populations improve, but more help could come from the lifting of a nearly 15-year-old ban on South American beef imports. According to the Star Tribune, the ban was put into place after beef from the country brought with it cases of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001.
"Beef is high," Bob Wilts, a cattle farmer in Big Lake, Minnesota, told the newspaper. "I know that. You go to the store and meat is expensive. But the cow herds are coming back. To risk bringing in a disease that could basically start wiping out everything … to me, it’s not worth the risk to save a few bucks."
Inforum adds that beef prices should be on the decline within a year.
How to nearly double the size of your burrito
A man, who can only be described as Einstein-like, figured out a way to turn your normal 17-ounce burrito into a nearly 32 ounce meal fit for a king. Via Apartment List, this normal man American hero gave six tips on how to make it happen.
- Order a burrito bowl and a tortilla
- But ask for two tortillas
- Get white AND brown rice
- Add black AND pinto beans
- Order two meats for a half-and-half blend
- Mix in some fajita veggies and corn salsa
Then, take that massive burrito bowl and shovel it into those warm tortillas for your very own super burrito at the same cost.