Chipotle Mexican Grill Q1 revenue up 7.4%
Revenue for the quarter was $1.1 billion, up 7.4% from the first quarter of 2017. The increase in revenue was driven by new restaurant openings and to a lesser extent from an increase in comparable restaurant sales.
Comparable restaurant sales increases were attributable to an increase in average check, including a 4.9% benefit from menu price increases that have been taken in almost all our restaurants over the past twelve months, partially offset by fewer transactions in our restaurants.
Chipotle Mexican Grill opened 35 new restaurants during the quarter, and closed two restaurants, bringing the total restaurant count to 2,441.
Food costs were 32.4% of revenue, a decrease of 140 basis points as compared to the first quarter of 2017.
The benefit from menu price increases and decreased paper cost and usage were partially offset by higher costs associated with preservative-free tortillas.
Restaurant level operating margin was 19.5% in the first quarter of 2018, a 180 basis point improvement from 17.7% in the first quarter of 2017.
The improvement was driven by lower marketing and promotional expense, and comparable restaurant sales increases, partially offset by wage inflation at the crew and manager level.
General and administrative expenses were 6.7% of revenue for the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 20 basis points over the first quarter of 2017 primarily due to increased headcount and higher bonus expenses.
These increases were partially offset by lower stock-based compensation expense as a result of forfeitures of stock during the quarter and making our annual stock grant later in the quarter than we did in the first quarter of 2017.
Chipotle Mexican Grill's effective tax rate was 36.9% for the first quarter of 2018, which includes 810 basis points related to discrete items in the first quarter, including 700 basis points for the write-off of deferred tax assets related to prior years' equity grants, which either expired without vesting, or vested at a lower value.
Net income for the first quarter of 2018 was $59.4 million, or $2.13 per diluted share, compared to net income of $46.1 million, or $1.60 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2017.
Chipotle Mexican Grill board of directors has also approved the investment of up to an additional $100 million, exclusive of commissions, to repurchase shares of our common stock.
This repurchase authorization, in addition to up to approximately $50.2 million available as of March 31, 2018 for repurchases under a previously announced repurchase authorization, may be modified, suspended, or discontinued at any time. ■