01/17/2013 08:04 pm ET

Chipotle Prices May Rise On Higher Food Costs

The next time you go to Chipotle, you may be forced to utter three words you thought you'd never say: hold the guac.

The burrito seller announced on Thursday that it will likely raise prices later this year to combat the higher cost of ingredients, the Wall Street Journal reports. Currently, an average meal at Chipotle will set you back $9, according to the WSJ.

With more than 1,400 locations, Chipotle is also under the pressure of increased competition from other burrito makers like Taco Bell that offer lower prices, Bloomberg reports. On Wednesday, Chipotle stock saw its biggest decline since October after disappointing fourth-quarter profits.

In an effort to stay competitive, the restaurant chain will be testing meat alternatives on its menu. A trial run of “sofrita,” a braised and shredded organic tofu, will be introduced in the San Francisco Bay Area next month, the Chicago Tribune reports. Chipotle also started serving craft beer in 15 of its Chicago locations in November.

ShopHouse, Chipotle’s first Asian-themed restaurant, received praise after opening up shop in Washington D.C. in 2011. The company has plans to open another ShopHouse in Los Angeles, Calif. this year.

Unlike Chipotle, Wendy’s does not foresee increasing prices due to rising food costs. CEO Emil Brolick told CNBC that the rise in food prices were “manageable.”



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