NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Unlike most fast-food chains, Chipotle's (CMG) isn't into the holidays.
There are no new menu items, no special promotions and no store decorations. Your experience in the restaurant is pretty much the same in December as it is in July.
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So far, that "bah humbug" strategy has worked out well for the burrito and salad bowl company.
Chipotle's fourth-quarter same-store sales have increased an average of 8.1% going back to 2011, according to Bloomberg data. By comparison, chains that go all out for the holidays -- Starbucks (SBUX) Americas, McDonald's (MCD) and Dunkin Donuts (DNKN) U.S. -- have seen smaller gains during the same period.
"Gimmicks like that are the rule in the fast-food universe, but have never been part of our strategy," a Chipotle spokesman said via email. "Our business is decidedly more focused, with our greatest attention directed to the things that really drive our business -- our unique food and people cultures."
He concluded: "We have never made use of gimmicks like that to drive our business."
Meanwhile, Starbucks stores across the country have been transformed into their usual winter wonderland of red holiday cups and seasonal photos emblazoned on plastic gift cards. Dunkin Donuts has brought holiday cheer to its bagged coffee this year with flavors like pumpkin spice, apple pie and eggnoggin.