Chipotle is raising prices on steak and barbacoa

Chipotle has raised its beef prices.

The company is charging 4% to 6% more on its steak and barbacoa burritos, tacos, bowls, and salads.

That means a steak burrito that currently costs $US6.85 will now cost $US7.26, assuming a 6% price increase.

The chain started raising prices last month to offset higher wholesale beef costs, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Business Insider. Eater first reported the price increases.

Wholesale beef costs have been rising due to global droughts that have caused a cattle shortage.

Chipotle has been serving “conventionally-raised” steak — meaning it’s from cattle raised with antibiotics and hormones — in some markets to meet demand. The chain has also started sourcing beef from Australia.

“Over the years, we have had great success serving the premium beef we call Responsibly Raised, which is produced according to high standards requiring, among other things, that animals be raised without hormones or antibiotics,” Chipotle co-CEO Steve Ells wrote in an op-ed last year. “But lately, we have been wrestling with a particularly vexing issue regarding this beef. Over the last five years, as our restaurant count has grown from about 800 restaurants to more than 1,600, so have our demand for all of the ingredients we use. Sometimes the existing supply of the premium meats we serve is unable to meet our growing demand.”

Steak and barbacoa burritos cost the company $US1 more to make than alternatives like chicken or vegetarian, executives have told investors. Chicken is Chipotle’s most popular meat.

Chipotle also raised prices last year, citing dairy and avocado costs.

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