Chipotle CEO: Consumer environment still strong despite the 'noise'

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Brian Niccol is still optimistic about consumer spending.
  • "There's obviously a lot of noise surrounding their life but you know, jobs continue to be very healthy, gas prices continue to be low, sentiment is still very positive," Niccol told CNBC's Kate Rogers.
  • A slowdown in the U.S. economy would mean fewer customers willing to buy Chipotle's burritos.

Despite the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history and stock market volatility, Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Brian Niccol is still feeling optimistic about the state of the consumer.

"There's obviously a lot of noise surrounding their life but you know, jobs continue to be very healthy, gas prices continue to be low, sentiment is still very positive," Niccol told CNBC's Kate Rogers. "That's what we continue to see in our data."

A slowdown in the U.S. economy would mean fewer customers willing to buy burritos and pay extra for guacamole, but Niccol said he believes that there's a great deal of growth to come for the company. Part of his strategy involves investing in digital sales, which could draw fans to spend more on the restaurant's food.

Investors are also optimistic about Chipotle under Niccol's leadership. Even with market volatility over the last month, the company's stock is up 11 percent in that period.

But low unemployment numbers have also been squeezing Chipotle. Niccol said that the restaurant chain has to be relentless when it comes to hiring because of the tough labor market.