Data from chipotle-density-336485.silk.co
Chipotle continues to prove it's America's favorite fast-food chain. The company opened 48 new restaurants last quarter, and saw revenues increase 14 percent. The company is now worth $23 billion, more than Burger King (and Tim Horton's).
In its most recent note on the company, Morgan Stanley analysts say the company's restaurant build-out is not even half-way complete. According to their calculations, at current growth rates and given the state of Chipotle's competition in other cities, the brand has to potential to reach 4,000 stores from their current 1,900, and are "poised to overtake [Panera] and become the largest fast casual [separate from quick-serve like McDonald's] brand in the US."
The report also included data showing how many stores Chipotle made in major markets
Using them, we created the above map showing Chipotle density in America's major cities.
Not surprisingly Denver, the birthplace of Chipotle, has the most restaurants per million residents, at 19.2
But they are basically tied with an unlikely runner-up, Cincinnati, at 19.1.
The analysts make makes note of this improbable fact, and see it as another sign of Chipotle's continued potential:
…Older markets for the brand continue to impress, with three Ohio markets—Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland—all having between 15-20 units per million. This is encouraging for further penetration of mid tier markets…
Cincinnati has nearly 19 Chipotles per million people, Columbus has over 20, and Cleveland has 15. These are not cities that have extraordinary incomes or demographics. They are older markets for CMG, however, suggesting the path toward increasing densities in other markets over time.
Chipotle shares were flat Monday.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.