Chipotle increasing menu prices to offset rising employee wages

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Chipotle Mexican Grill is raising its menu prices by as much as 4% in order to offset the cost of increased employee wages instituted last month, the fast-casual restaurant chain said.  

In May, the company announced that it was offering increased wages across the board, resulting in a $15 average hourly wage by the end of June as part of its ongoing hiring push.

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CMGCHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC.1,335.98+0.37+0.03%

"It made sense in this scenario to invest in our employees and get these restaurants staffed and make sure that we have the pipeline of people to support our growth," Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said at the Baird Global Consumer, Technology & Services Conference. "And then with that, we've taken some pricing to cover some of that investment." 

The starting pay for new and existing hourly and salaried restaurant employees would range from $11-$18 per hour. The average employee wage was previously $13.   

Chipotle restaurant workers fill orders for customers on April 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) ( )

The increased wages come ahead of the company's "peak season." To accommodate for the expected rush, the company is looking to hire 20,000 employees at its estimated 200 restaurants across the nation – a sign of relief for the recently battered economy.  

In fact, Chipotle isn't the only major brand raising its wages and initiating major hiring pushes as the world moves closer to pre-pandemic times. 

COSTCO, WALMART LEAD JOB PAY HIKES, PERKS TO LURE WORKERS

Companies from Target, Costco, McDonald's to theme parks such as Dinsey World have taken similar steps to bump employee pay. 

In fact, Costco and Walmart are leading that charge, offering the greatest pay and perks. 

While Costco raised its minimum wage to $16 per hour to boost worker retention, Walmart raised its minimum wage for 425,000 employees, increasing the average pay to $15 per hour.

FOX Business' Hayley Rieman contributed to this report. 

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