09/17/2014 12:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How Crazy Rich You'd Be If You'd Invested in Chipotle, Starbucks and More


Reading through stock charts and earning reports can be intimidating enough to make the average person just want to give up and eat a burrito. Which will further line the pockets of those early Chipotle investors, who are now driving speedboats and adding guacamole to everything.

As an exercise in regret and jealousy, we've dug through thousands of feet of stock ticker tape (i.e. Yahoo and Google Finance) and picked out six food-based stocks that would've been very wise investments. Then we charted their growth over the past 10 years (Aug 26th, 2004-2014), or however long they've been publicly traded. Lastly, we used a fancy stock calculator to account for pesky variables like dividends and splits in a chart that shows just how much a $1,000 investment would've paid off. Read on to learn how rich you'd be had you bet on carnitas, caffeine, and Buffalo wings.

More: The Next Chipotle: 12 Small Chains That Might Someday Dominate The World


The above chart was derived by using a fancy stock calculator that accounts for dividends and splits and other floating variables that made these lucky shareholders even richer, so if the numbers don't quite add up, blame it on Nasdaq.


There are a lot of things you didn't know about Chipotle, like that you should've traded one of your kidneys for their stock back in 2006. When they went public, the company only had about 500 locations -- now they've more than tripled that. And that kidney of yours would be worth about 15 kidneys, as the stock has inflated from a measly $44 to an extremely non-measly $683.


Buffalo Wild Wings
BW3 is the sleeper hit of the group. When the two Buffalo dudes behind the concept decided to open a wing shop in the early '80s, nobody would've guessed that 30 years later Gordon Gecko would've wished he was their buddy. From 2008-2011, Forbes named B-Dubs to their fastest-growing companies list, and, although it no longer has that distinction, it's still a stock that's earning its investors plenty of (blue) cheese.

Find out why stocks like McDonalds, Starbucks, Popeye's, and Yelp all skyrocketed and would have made you very rich -- on Thrillist!

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