On a college student’s budget, Chipotle’s recent price increase could mean a lot.
The chain restaurant increased the price of all of its menu items by about 15 to 50 cents on Tuesday, but 20-year-old Santa Fe College student David Bartek said he doesn’t mind the jump in prices.
Bartek, an emergency medical technician student, said he already springs for double or triple meat on his burrito bowl – a meal that he orders at least four times a week.
“Paying more is worth it,” he said. “Especially now that they’re non-GMO.”
The company recently announced that its meals are free of genetically modified foods and cited its commitment to naturally raised meat as the reason for the cost increase.
There’s a high demand for naturally raised food, said Juby Mammen, employee at the Chipotle closest to campus, located at 1432 W. University Ave.
He said the company needed to increase prices “in order to get food like that.”
He remembered last year when his store ran out of naturally raised steak and had to switch to meat that had been conventionally raised.
“Supply is obviously limited because it’s naturally raised,” he said. “And it takes time to get.”
With the added revenue, Mammen said he hopes to prevent another shortage and provide customers with the food they want.
He said he doesn’t believe the price increase will turn customers away.
And in Bartek’s case, it certainly hasn’t.
“It’s delicious, it’s filling …and the way I eat, it fits my lifestyle,” he said. “I’m still fine with the prices.”
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 5/13/2014 under the headline "Chipotle raises prices to help pay for non-GMO food"]