If you eat at Chipotle and you’re on a budget, you might want to skip the beef and stick with chicken.
Amid ongoing nationwide Chipotle Mexican Grill price hikes, RBC Capital Markets shed more light Thursday on which items are going up the most.
In an analysis of 11 different U.S. markets, the largest increases have been on steak items, chips and guacamole, soft drinks and Barbacoa (a braised beef filling), RBC wrote in a report to clients.
“We are modestly raising our above-consensus EPS estimates to account for the pull-forward of price action that is currently ongoing,” analysts said. “Once implemented, we believe that pricing will ultimately be in line with the high end (e.g., 6%) of the mid-single-digit range we had expected.”
Overall, menu price have risen an average of 6.5 percent for core menu items and 7.3 percent for side items and drinks, RBC noted. This is the first nationwide increase in three years for the company.
Read More $54.75 Starbucks drink sets record
To date, they’ve impacted about 500 to 600 restaurants, Chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells said Wednesday at a conference. When it’s taken menu increases in the past, Chipotle hasn’t seen a reaction—with the exception of a hike at the beginning of the recession, Ells added.
“It’s only been a matter of weeks,” Ells said. “Anecdotally, so far, we’re not hearing anything that concerns us whatsoever.”
Chipotle’s menu increases have followed a sharp rise in food costs seen at the retail level as the U.S. cattle herd hovers near historic lows.
According to the latest BLS data, USDA choice boneless round steak prices shot up 14.6 percent in April from the year-ago period. Meanwhile, Hass avocado costs have surged 27 percent at grocery stores, the USDA reported.
RBC expects the Mexican chain’s food margin to moderate over time and wrote that a return to 32 percent food margins could add an additional $70 to $80 to its stock, which stands around $540. Last quarter, the company’s food costs stood at 34.5 percent, driven by higher steak, avocado and cheese prices.
—By CNBC’s Katie Little