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Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Message Board

  • stockwhisperer999 stockwhisperer999 Dec 31, 2011 3:46 PM Flag

    Field Report: Lake Forest, CA

    I just returned from field research for my short position. I ate lunch at a Chipotle in Lake Forest, California. Was there from 11:45 - 12:20, near the height of lunch hour on a beautiful, sunny day when many people were out and about.

    Parking spaces near other businesses, shops and restaurants were filled to capacity, but parking availability near the Chipotle was plentiful. I parked right in front of the restaurant.

    At most, eight tables were occupied during my visit; the restaurant was conspicuously empty and clean (from disuse).

    Keep in mind that Lake Forest is in the heart of affluent South Orange County, CA.

    As a comparison, at the same intersection there are two -- yes, two -- Del Taco franchises, one on the Chipotle side and the other directly across the street. Both of the Del Tacos were bristling with customers, especially the drive-throughs.

    At Chipotle... the sound of crickets... well, the sound of synth-pop faux Mexican music blasted through the speakers.

    I paid $8.51 for a bland burrito and a small soda.

    Other customers during my visit at Chipotle were solitary guests, like me, and three couples. Chipotle is not a place where many families go to eat.

    I am confident in my short position (500 shares at $348). Chipotle is a fad convenience restaurant that has already passed its apex. I expect earnings disappointments and lowered guidance in 2012.

    On the door was a sign that Chipotle would be "wrapping up" early, closing at 8:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Chipotle management knows that its appeal is fading.

    Short away!!!!

    Strong sell!!!!

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