You may have never heard of Chuy’s Tex-Mex, but that’s probably about to change.
Shares of the Austin, Texas-based restaurant chain are up 27 percent over the last year, and the average price target is $37.50 per share, according to The Motley Fool.
Last year, Chuy’s opened 10 new locations nationwide, bringing its total to 69. It plans to double its number of restaurants within the next five years.
So while Chipotle is still more prevalent, Chuy’s offers several factors that are increasingly popular with diners, including:
Atmosphere: It’s a full-service restaurant with a “kitschy, Elvis-heavy setting,” according to its website.
Menu: The chain’s “big as yo’ face” burritos and other Mexican-inspired dishes are reportedly made from scratch with the freshest ingredients. The food is a little pricier than Chipotle’s, but not by much.
Alcohol: Nearly 20 percent of the average Chuy’s check is high-margin alcohol, like margaritas and sangria, compared to less than 1 percent of Chipotle’s.
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So what does the future hold for the little Tex-Mex chain that could? Per The Motley Fool:
“Chipotle has struggled in the wake of its food-safety mishaps, but it probably won’t hurt Chuy’s to compare itself to a company that has gained nearly 2,200% since its IPO a decade ago. It may not be the next Chipotle, but if Chuy’s is able to continue to execute, the company’s $500 million market capitalization may be seriously undervalued.”